Gardenia

  • ‘Tis the Voice of the Lobster

    ‘Tis the voice of the Lobster: I heard him declare
    ‘You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair.’
    As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose
    Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.
    When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark,
    And will talk in contemptuous tones of the shark;
    But, when the tide rises and sharks are around,
    His voice has a timid and tremulous sound.

    I passed by his garden and marked, with one eye,
    How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie:
    The Panther took pie-crust, and gravy, and meat,
    While the Owl had the dish as its share of the treat.
    When the pie was all finished, the Owl, as a boon,
    Was kindly permitted to pocket the spoon:
    While the Panther received knife and fork with a growl,
    And concluded the banquet by —

    A woody, musky-weird base glooping over with blackberry preserves, a twist of mandarin, strawberry juice, pulverized watermelon, and a handful of smushed gardenia petals.

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  • Coral Snake

    Snake Oil with blood orange, blood apple, lemon peel, plumeria, and red gardenia.

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  • Cottonmouth

    Snake Oil with linden blossom, calla lily, passion flower, and narcissus.

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  • Faiza, The Lady of Serpents

    Upon the next stage, a primitive cage has been erected. It is made of heavy, dark sticks bound with strips of deep brown leather. The stage is as dark as pitch, and from the shadows, you hear soft hissing, spitting, and an ominous chorus of weird rattling sounds. You approach with some trepidation, and peer between the bars. Your attention is seized by writhing forms on the straw bottom of the cage. As your eyes adjust to the gloom, you realize that the floor is seething with serpents, dark and colorful, languid and large, swift and small. You hear a sultry chuckle, and you see bright, unblinking emerald eyes staring at you from the corner of the cage. A woman crawls through the snakes, her scaled body as sinuous and lissome as the creatures that share her home. She reaches towards you languorously with her sharp-clawed hands and sighs.

    A sensual blend of twisting, exotic, serpentine oils: black amber, oakmoss, green sandalwood, bergamot, jasmine sambac, gardenia, orange pulp, black cardamom, vanilla, blackberry, black musk, blackened vanilla husk, white honey, ti leaf, and ginger.

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  • Highwayman

    A brace of loaded pistols
    He carried night and day;
    He never robbed a poor man
    Upon the king’s highway;
    But what he’d taken from the rich,
    Like Turpin and Black Bess,
    He always did divide it
    With the widow in distress.

    Stand and deliver! Vetiver with gardenia, blood red rose, night-blooming jasmine, a dash of cinnamon and a faint hint of leather

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  • Le Serpent Qui Danse

    When, as by glaciers ground, the spate
    Swells hissing from beneath,
    The water of your mouth, elate,
    Rises between your teeth —

    It seems some old Bohemian vintage
    Triumphant, fierce, and tart,
    A liquid heaven that showers a mintage
    Of stars across my heart.

    A sinister, darkly seductive scent inspired by poetry of Charles Baudelaire. Violet entwined with vanilla and gardenia.

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  • Lovers at the Entrance to a House of Pleasure Spied on by a Kamuro Through the Hanging Curtain

    White gardenia, oakmoss, champaca blossom, magnolia leaf, vanilla orchid, and tobacco absolute.

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  • Marguerite

    Rose, rose geranium, myrrh, ylang ylang, French gardenia, tuberose, red sandalwood, and palmarosa.

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  • Miss Spink

    Miss Spink and Miss Forcible lived in the flat below Coraline’s, on the ground floor. They were both old and round, and they lived in their flat with a number of ageing Highland terriers who had names like Hamish and Andrew and Jock. Once upon a time Miss Spink and Miss Forcible had been actresses, as Miss Spink told Coraline the first time she met her.

    “You see, Caroline,” Miss Spink said, getting Coraline’s name wrong, “both myself and Miss Forcible were famous actresses, in our time. We trod the boards, luvvy. Oh, don’t let Hamish eat the fruitcake, or he’ll be up all night with his tummy.”

    “It’s Coraline. Not Caroline, Coraline,” said Coraline.

    A grand, over-the-top tuberose gardenia.

    Both Miss Spink and Miss Forcible scents have a bit of tea splash and biscuit crumbs.

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  • Pepper

    She herself had short red hair and a face which was not so much freckled as one big freckle with occasional areas of skin.

    Pepper’s given first names were Pippin Galadriel Moonchild. She had been given them in a naming ceremony in a muddy valley field that contained three sick sheep and a number of leaky polythene teepees. Her mother had chosen the Welsh valley of Pant y Gyrdl as the ideal site to Return to Nature. (Six months later, sick of the rain, the mosquitoes, the men, the tent trampling sheep who ate first the whole commune’s marijuana crop and then its antique minibus, and by now beginning to glimpse why almost the entire drive of human history has been an attempt to get as far away from Nature as possible, Pepper’s mother returned to Pepper’s surprised grandparents in Tadfield, bought a bra, and enrolled in a sociology course with a deep sigh of relief.)

    There are only two ways a child can go with a name like Pippin Galadriel Moonchild, and Pepper had chosen the other one: the three male Them had learned this on their first day of school, in the playground, at the age of four.

    They had asked her her name, and, all innocent, she had told them.

    Subsequently a bucket of water had been needed to separate Pippin Galadriel Moonchild’s teeth from Adam’s shoe. Wensleydale’s first pair of spectacles had been broken, and Brian’s sweater needed five stitches.

    The Them were together from then on, and Pepper was Pepper forever, except to her mother, and (when they were feeling especially courageous, and the Them were almost out of earshot) Greasy Johnson and the Johnsonites, the village’s only other gang.

    Wild English roses, French gardenia, vanilla, honey, golden ginger, blood orange, pine resin, pink pepper, crushed berries, tuberose, bergamot, and geranium.

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  • Swans on the River

    Honeysuckle, white tuberose, gardenia petals, and wet green leaves.

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  • The Lady of Shalott

    Heard a carol, mournful, holy,
    Chanted loudly, chanted lowly,
    Till her blood was frozen slowly,
    And her eyes were darkened wholly,
    Turn’d to tower’d Camelot.
    For ere she reach’d upon the tide
    The first house by the water-side,
    Singing in her song she died,
    The Lady of Shalott.

    The scent of calm waters just before a raging storm, limned with achingly-beautiful blooms, an icy scent, but somehow warm, and mirror-bright: bold gardenia, crystalline musk, muguet, water blossoms, clear, slightly tart aquatic notes and a crush of white ginger.

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  • The Torture Queen

    White amber, vanilla musk, white tea, ambergris, gardenia, and chrome.

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  • Veil

    A quiet scent, soft, calm and enigmatic. A perfume of mystery, of whispers, and of secrets behind secrets. White sandalwood, lilac, gardenia, violet, orris, lavender and ylang ylang.

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