Coriander

  • Moons of Saturn: Hyrrokkin

    Thou didst smite the head of Keila,
    Smash Kjallandi altogether,
    Ere thou slewest Lútr and Leidi,
    Didst spill the blood of Búseyra;
    Didst hold back Hengjankjapta,
    Hyrrokkin died before;
    Yet sooner in like fashion
    Svívör from life was taken.

    Hringhorni, Baldr’s ship, was the largest of all such vessels and was to serve as the god’s funeral ship.

    When Loki murdered Baldur, the gods built the funeral pyre on his ship, Hringhorni. Hringhorni was massive, and none of the Aesir could move it, so they begged help of the Jötun, Hyrrokkin. Fire-smoked and flame-haired, the giantess arrived on a gargantuan wolf harnessed by reins made of live vipers. Hyrrokkin was able to push Baldur’s funeral ship out to sea, but the force of her strength caused the earth to quake and the rollers to burst into flame. Thor, angered by the quake and the conflagration, was intent on murdering Hyrrokkin until the Aesir stayed his hand.

    Viper-green and smoldering: smoke-swirled black pine, patchouli leaf, coriander, and sweet green vetiver.

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  • Tavern of Hell

    Sometimes I would venture from my sepulchre to the jazz of night Paris, where having gathered the colours, I would think them over in front of the fire. I could be seen walking through a funeral corridor of my house and descending down a black spiral of steep stairs; rushing underground to Montmartre, all impatience to see the fiery rubies of the Moulin Rouge cross. I wondered thereabouts, then bought a ticket to watch frenzied delirium of feathers, vulgar painted lips and eyelashes of black and blue.

    Naked feet, and thighs, and arms, and breasts were being flung on me from bloody-red foam of translucent clothes. The tuxedoed goatees and crooked noses in white vests and toppers would line the hall, with their hands posed on canes. Then I found myself in a pub, where the liqueurs were served on a coffin (not a table) by the nickering devil: “Drink it, you wretched!” Having drunk, I returned under the black sky split by the flaming vanes, which the radiant needles of my eyelashes cross-hatched. In front of my nose a stream of bowler hats and black veils was still pulsing, foamy with bluish green and warm orange of feathers worn by the night beauties: to me they were all one, as I had to narrow my eyes for insupportable radiance of electric lamps, whose hectic fires would be dancing beneath my nervous eyelids for many a night to come.

    White gardenia, ambergris bouquet, lavender fougere, orange blossom, melissa, tobacco flower, coriander, ebony wood, ylang ylang, absinthe and aged whiskey.

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  • Tenochtitlan

    The greatest of all Aztec cities, and capital of their empire. Amber, hyssop, coriander, epazote, Mexican sage, prickly pear and Mexican tulip poppy.

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  • Tristran

    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.

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