Baba YagaSelect Options
Then suddenly the wood became full of a terrible noise; the trees began to groan, the branches to creak and the dry leaves to rustle, and the Baba Yaga came flying from the forest. She was riding in a great iron mortar and driving it with the pestle, and as she came she swept away her trail behind her with a kitchen broom.
Spell-soaked herbs and flowers, cold iron, broom twigs, bundles of moss and patchouli root, and moth dust.
BensiabelOut of Stock
As the years passed Prunella grew up into a very beautiful girl. Now her beauty and goodness, instead of softening the witch’s heart, aroused her hatred and jealousy.
One day she called Prunella to her, and said: ‘Take this basket, go to the well, and bring it back to me filled with water. If you don’t I will kill you.’
The girl took the basket, went and let it down into the well again and again. But her work was lost labour. Each time, as she drew up the basket, the water streamed out of it. At last, in despair, she gave it up, and leaning against the well she began to cry bitterly, when suddenly she heard a voice at her side saying ‘Prunella, why are you crying?’
Turning round she beheld a handsome youth, who looked kindly at her, as if he were sorry for her trouble.
‘Who are you,’ she asked, ‘and how do you know my name?’
‘I am the son of the witch,’ he replied, ‘and my name is Bensiabel. I know that she is determined that you shall die, but I promise you that she shall not carry out her wicked plan. Will you give me a kiss, if I fill your basket?’
‘No,’ said Prunella, ‘I will not give you a kiss, because you are the son of a witch.’
‘Very well,’ replied the youth sadly. ‘Give me your basket and I will fill it for you.’ And he dipped it into the well, and the water stayed in it. Then the girl returned to the house, carrying the basket filled with water. When the witch saw it, she became white with rage, and exclaimed ‘Bensiabel must have helped you.’ And Prunella looked down, and said nothing.
Plum juice, lilac, leather, and a smattering of herbs.
The forks of the road: an in-between place, sacred and tangibly magickal in innumerable cultures and faiths. This scent is dark with mystery, taut with power. A chill twilit garden of blooms over dry earth and mosses, heavily laden with incense and offertory herbs.
A dizzying eddy of four teas brushed with light herbs and a breath of peony.
A woolen robe infused with the scent of a vast, primordial forest: ancient trees, fertile soil, wild herbs, spring grasses, and burgundy pitch incense.
Dumb CakeOut of Stock
What all the ingredients of the cake were I know not, but one principal one was salt. I remember being told some years ago, by an old inhabitant in one of the dales, about the composition of this mystic cake. It was somewhat as follows: In the first place four people had to assist in the making of it, each taking an equal share in the work, adding small portions of its component parts, stirring the pot, and so forth. During the whole time of its manufacture and consumption a strict silence has to be observed. Even when it is being taken out of the oven each of the interested parties must assist in the work. When made it is placed on the table in the middle of the room, and the four persons stand at the four corners of the room. When set on the table the cake is divided into equal portions and put upon four plates or vessels.
The spirit of the future husband of one of the four would then appear and taste from the plate of his future bride, being only visible to her whose husband he was destined to be. As a preliminary to this, every door of the house had to be thrown open. The traditional hour for making the feast was midnight.
A method of divination, the Dumb Cake was employed on auspicious evenings – Midwinter, Midsummer Eve, All Hallows, New Year’s, St. Mark’s Eve, St. Agnes’ Eve – so that single women would be able to divine the identity of their future husbands. The cakes were to be baked in silence, and “two must make it, two must bake it, and two must break it, and the third put it under each of their pillows.”
The two must go to the larder and jointly get the various ingredients. First they get a bowl, each holding it and wash and dry it together. Then each gets a spoonful of flour, a spoonful of water and a little salt. When making the cake they must stand on something they have never stood on before. They must mix it together and roll it. Then they draw a line across the middle of the cake and each girl cuts her initials each on opposite sides of the line. Then both put it into the oven and bake it. The two take it out of the oven, and break it across the line and the two pieces are given to the third girl who places a piece under each pillow and they will dream of their future.
Not a word must be spoken and the two girls after giving the pieces to the third girl have to walk backwards to bed and get into bed backwards. One word or exclamation by either of the three girls will break the charm.
The cake was to be left by the fireplace overnight, and the door was to be left open. While the querant slept, her future husband’s double would creep into the house and prick her future husband’s initials into the cake pieces. If the door swung shut by accident, the spirit double would be trapped and the maiden cursed.
This is the scent of an awkward encounter with a Yule-evoked doppelgänger mate: spectral cologne, blurry herbs, fireplace ash, and a dusting of crumbs.
Frau HolleOut of Stock
Frau Holle, or Holda, is the personification of the changes wrought when winter seizes the land: she rides the chill winds in her chariot, shaking out her featherbeds in order to precipitate snowfall. The rolling fog is the smoke from her hearth fire, and thunder claps when she reels her flax. Holda is a goddess of matrons, who governs spinning, domestic chores, witchcraft and witches, and the Wild Hunt. She presides over the transition of souls, both to and from this world. Though she is childless, she watches over children, and the spirits of newborns spring forth from her sacred pool. Her festival falls during midwinter, when the dead roam free. She holds court in Hörselberg, from which the Wild Hunt is issued, and all the beasts in the land heed her call.
Snow-covered pines, witches herbs, bestial musk, flax, and ethereal flowers that represent both birth and death.
Imp Pack: HerbalOut of Stock
Mr. BoboAdd to cart
“The man in the top flat. Mister Bobo. Fine old circus family, I believe. Romanian or Slovenian or Livonian, or one of those countries. Bless me, I can never remember them anymore.”
It had never occurred to Coraline that the crazy old man upstairs actually had a name, she realized. If she’d known his name was Mr. Bobo she would have said it every chance she got. How often do you get to say a name like “Mr. Bobo” aloud?
Cooking herbs, pickles, and mouse fur.
We’ve finally caved in to years of requests for vampiric scents.
As soft as grave dust and as dry as a breath drawn within a long forgotten crypt, this is Nosferatu: desiccated herbs and gritty earth brought to life with a swell of robust and sanguineous red wines.
The CatAdd to cart
There was a polite noise from behind her.
She turned around. Standing on the wall next to her was a large black cat, identical to the large black cat she'd seen in the grounds at home.
“Good afternoon,” said the cat.
Its voice sounded like the voice at the back of Coraline's head, the voice she thought words in, but a man's voice, not a girl's.
“Hello,” said Coraline. “I saw a cat like you in the garden at home. You must be the other cat.”
The cat shook its head. “No,” it said. “I'm not the other anything. I'm me.” It tipped its head to one side; green eyes glinted. “You people are spread all over the place. Cats, on the other hand, keep ourselves together. If you see what I mean.”
“I suppose. But if you're the same cat I saw at home, how can you talk?”
Cats don't have shoulders, not like people do. But the cat shrugged, in one smooth movement that started at the tip of its tail and ended in a raised movement of its whiskers. “I can talk.”
“Cats don't talk at home.”
“No?” said the cat.
“No,” said Coraline.
The cat leaped smoothly from the wall to the grass near Coraline's feet. It stared up at her.
“Well, you're the expert on these things,” said the cat dryly. “After all, what would I know? I'm only a cat.”
Sleek, black, dark, and clever: benzoin, honey, cedar, and dark musk.
The Chicken-Legged HutOut of Stock
But at evening she came all at once to the green lawn where the wretched little hut stood on its hens’ legs. The wall around the hut was made of human bones and on its top were skulls. There was a gate in the wall, whose hinges were the bones of human feet and whose locks were jaw-bones set with sharp teeth. The sight filled Vasilissa with horror and she stopped as still as a post buried in the ground.
Creaky wood and sun-dried thatching, clacking bones, leering skulls, burnt herbs, and enormous magical chicken feet.
The Floating MarketAdd to cart
It was loud, and brash, and insane, and it was, in many ways, quite wonderful. People argued, haggled, shouted, sang. They hawked and touted their wares, and loudly declaimed the superiority of their merchandise. Music was playing—a dozen different kinds of music, being played a dozen different ways on a score of different instruments, most of them improvised, improved, improbable. Richard could smell food. All kinds of food—the smells of curries and spices seemed to predominate, with, beneath them, the smells of grilling meats and mushrooms. Stalls had been set up all throughout the shop, next to or even on, counters that, during the day, had sold perfume, or watches, or amber, or silk scarves.
A cacophony of curious scents: copaiba balsam, petitgrain, citrus rind, sinicuichi accord, betel nut, wasabi root, coconut palm, and wattleseed layered atop innumerable strange herbs, spices, and woods.
The Potter’s FieldAdd to cart
Silas walked across the path without disturbing a fallen leaf, and sat down on the bench, beside Bod. “There are those,” he said, in his silken voice, “who believe that all land is sacred. That it is sacred before we come to it, and sacred after. But here, in your land, they blessed the churches and the ground they set aside to bury people in, to make it holy. But they left land unconsecrated beside the sacred ground, potter's fields to bury the criminals and the suicides or those who were not of the faith.”
“So the people buried in the ground on the other side of the fence are bad people?”
Silas raised one perfect eyebrow. “Mm? Oh, not at all. Let's see, it's been a while since I've been down that way. But I don't remember anyone particularly evil. Remember, in days gone by you could be hanged for stealing a shilling. And there are always people who find their lives have become so unsupportable they believe the best thing they could do would be to hasten their transition to another plane of existence.”
Rich loam, fragrant grasses, murky vetiver, wild herbs, and dry cedar bark.
ÞvörusleikirOut of Stock
Favorite pastime: licking spoons and ladles. There’s no accounting for taste.
The scent of well-worn wooden utensils, lightly fondled, and a wisp of kitchen herbs.