Incense

  • Al Azif

    An Arabic term that refers to both the chirping of nocturnal insects and the ambient sound made by the chattering of demons. This is the original title of the feared Necronomicon, the Book of Dead Names, penned by the Mad Arab, Abdul Alhazred.

    Nor is it to be thought that man is either the oldest or the last of earth’s masters, or that the common bulk of life and substances walks alone. The Old Ones were, the Old Ones are, and the Old Ones shall be. Not in the spaces we know, but between them, They walk serene and primal, undimensioned and to us unseen. Yog-Sothoth knows the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the gate. Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate. Past, present, future, all are one in Yog-Sothoth. He knows where the Old Ones broke through of old, and where They shall break through again. He knows where They have trod earth’s fields, and where They still tread them, and why no one can behold Them as They tread. By Their smell can men sometimes know Them near, but of Their semblance can no man know, saving only in the features of those They have begotten on mankind; and of those are there many sorts, differing in likeness from man’s truest eidolon to that shape without sight or substance which is Them. They walk unseen and foul in lonely places where the Words have been spoken and the Rites howled through at their Seasons. The wind gibbers with Their voices, and the earth mutters with Their consciousness. They bend the forest and crush the city, yet may not forest or city behold the hand that smites. Kadath in the cold waste hath known Them, and what man knows Kadath? The ice desert of the South and the sunken isles of Ocean hold stones where Their seal is engraven, but who hath seen the deep frozen city or the sealed tower long garlanded with seaweed and barnacles? Great Cthulhu is Their cousin, yet can he spy Them only dimly. Iä! Shub-Niggurath! As a foulness shall ye know Them. Their hand is at your throats, yet ye see Them not; and Their habitation is even one with your guarded threshold. Yog-Sothoth is the key to the gate, whereby the spheres meet. Man rules now where They ruled once; They shall soon rule where man rules now. After summer is winter, and after winter summer. They wait patient and potent, for here shall They reign again.

    A sinister, sinuous incense of summoning, a herald and paean to the Primordial Gods of Darkness, Chaos, Madness and Decay.

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  • All Souls

    A day of remembrance and intercession. Without the prayers and sacrifices of their families and loved ones, the faithful departed may not be cleansed of their venal sins, and thereby cannot attain beatific vision. On November 2nd, prayers are sung and offerings are made to aid lost souls in transcending purgatory.

    An incense blend that invokes the higher qualities of mercy and compassion, mingled with the soft, sugared currant scent of offertory soul cakes.

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  • Animal Allegory

    Cornelis Saftleven

    Dust, dry incense, parchment, and tobacco leaf.

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  • Cairo

    The essence of holy Kyphi, beloved incense of the Egyptian Gods.

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  • Caterpillar

    Heavy incense notes waft lazily through a mix of carnation, jasmine, bergamot, and neroli over a lush bed of dark mosses, iris blossom, deep patchouli and indolent vetiver.

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  • Cathedral

    Venerable and solemn: the scent of incense smoke wafting through an ancient church. A true ecclesiatical blend of pure resins.

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  • Cigarettes and Offerings

    “I think,” he pronounced, gloomily, “that our kind, we like the cigarettes so much because they remind us of the offerings that once they burned for us, the smoke rising up as they sought our approval or our favor.”

    Cigarette smoke overlapping with the resonance of long-forgotten incenses.

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  • Crossroads

    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.

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  • Dee

    John Dee: master of science, alchemy and magic, Hermetic philosopher in the schools of Rosicrucian Christian Mysticism and Platonic-Pythagorean doctrine, and Queen Elizabeth’s astrologer, advisor, cryptologist and spy. With Edward Kelly, he created a field of study and work in Angelic Evocation, and isolated the Angelic language: Enochian. His scent is soft English leather, rosewood and tonka with a hint of incense, parchment and soft woods.

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  • Dia De Los Muertos

    A joyous celebration of La Catarina, La Flaca, La Muerte… Glorious, Beautiful Death. In Mexico, death is not something to be feared or hated; She is embraced, loved, and adored. La Muerte is fêted, as the celebrant “…chases after it, mocks it, courts it, hugs it, sleeps with it; it is his favorite plaything and his most lasting love.” This is a Mexican paean to La Huesuda: dry, crackling leaves, the incense smoke of altars honoring Death and the Dead, funeral bouquets, the candies, chocolates, foods and tobacco of the ofrenda, amaranth, sweet cactus blossom and desert cereus.

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  • Druid

    A woolen robe infused with the scent of a vast, primordial forest: ancient trees, fertile soil, wild herbs, spring grasses, and burgundy pitch incense.

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  • Eve

    Eve is eternal: in three-thousand years, she has likely traveled the length and breadth of the world, immersed in innumerable cultures throughout the ages, observing the ebb and flow of humanity and the imperishability of nature itself. Despite her age, she is the character that seems most rooted, always experiencing each moment with open eyes, always fully present.

    Her scent is one that travels through the eons: the Irish moss, yarrow, and hawthorn of the Iron Age Britons, ancient Rome’s omphacium and honey, myrrh and calamus from Egypt, the frankincense and damask roses of the Florentine Renaissance, white sandalwood from the Far East, Moroccan saffron and rose water, and a swirl of incense from the souks.

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  • Feeding the Dead

    A barrel of beer, a pyramid of cakes, and three sticks of incense.

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  • Harper

    Pale bergamot, labdanum, white incense, vanilla-tinged musk, Burmese oudh and tea rose.

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  • Hellfire

    A scent celebrating Sir Francis Dashwood’s Order of the Knights of St. Francis of Wycombe, also known as the Hellfire Club. A swirl of pipe tobacco, hot leather, ambergris, dark musk and the lingering incense smoke from their Black Mass.

    New formulation.

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  • Imp Pack: Incense

    —Al-Azif
    —The Caterpillar
    —Cathedral
    —Hellfire
    —Druid
    —Penitence

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  • Kathmandu

    The scent of sacred incense swirling up the steep slopes to Swayambhunath Stupa. Saffron, blessed sandalwood, Himalayan cedar and the miraculous lotus of the Buddha with chiuri bark and Nepalese spices.

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  • Kumari Kandam

    The hollow scent of a vast antediluvian civilization, now frozen and buried, smothered by a thick sheet of ice and trapped deep beneath the ocean. Thick incense, clay, stone, and hothouse blooms with a spike of frost, a hint of decay, and heavy, dolorous aquatic notes.

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  • Midnight on the Midway

    Lightning splits the sky, illuminating the skeletal skyline of the carnival rides: sugared incense, flickering blue musk, and night-blooming flowers.

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  • Mystical Aphorisms of the Fortune Cookie

    Obergefell vs Hodges

    If, even as the price to be paid for a fifth vote, I ever joined an opinion for the Court that began: ‘The Constitution promises liberty to all within its reach, a liberty that includes certain specific rights that allow persons, within a lawful realm, to define and express their identity,’ I would hide my head in a bag. The Supreme Court of the United States has descended from the disciplined legal reasoning of John Marshall and Joseph Story to the mystical aphorisms of the fortune cookie.

    Almond fortune cookies and a bit of roadside palm reader-inspired incense.

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  • Pallid Bat

    I want my rooftop filled with Pallid Bats. Not only are they cute as hell, but their favored meal is the Arizona bark scorpion, whose sting is the most venomous to be found in North America.

    Bats > Scorpions
    (Sorry, Scorpios!)

    Tea leaf, bourbon, a sting of white ginger, and Italian bergamot swirled in amber incense smoke.

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  • Philologus

    The Philologi are scholars and philosophers that have dedicated themselves to the pursuit of knowledge, utilizing their extended lifespan to further their research. They are usually reclusive, and some were once Transeo that have rejected the bustle of human society in favor of solitude.

    Ancient books, crackled parchment, faded incense, and candle wax.

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  • Quintessence of Dust

    “What a piece of work is a man!”
    “What is this quintessence of dust?”

    The passing: beeswax and smoke, yellowed paper and well-worn leather books, droplets of spilled ink, faded incense, blood-tinged salty tears, and the metal of the knife that skewers that illiterate zombie philistine’s portrait.

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  • Sam

    Tap. Tap. Tap.

    Shadow opened his eyes, and, groggily, sat up. He was freezing, and the sky outside the car was the deep luminescent purple that divides the dusk from the night.

    Tap. Tap. Someone said, “Hey, mister,” and Shadow turned his head. The someone was standing beside the car, no more than a darker shape against the darkling sky. Shadow reached out a hand and cranked down the window a few inches. He made some waking-up noises, and then he said, “Hi.”

    “You all right? You sick? You been drinking?” The voice was high—a woman’s or a boy’s.

    “I’m fine,” said Shadow. “Hold on.” He opened the door, and got out, stretching his aching limbs and neck as he did so. Then he rubbed his hands together, to get the blood circulating and to warm them up.

    “Whoa. You’re pretty big.”

    “That’s what they tell me,” said Shadow.

    “Who are you?”

    “I’m Sam,” said the voice.

    “Boy Sam or girl Sam?”

    “Girl Sam. I used to be Sammi with an i, and I’d do a smiley face over the i, but then I got completely sick of it because like absolutely everybody was doing it, so I stopped.”

    “Okay, girl Sam. You go over there, and look out at the road.”

    “Why? Are you a crazed killer or something?”

    “No,” said Shadow, “I need to take a leak and I’d like just the smallest amount of privacy.”

    “Oh. Right. Okay. Got it. No problem. I am so with you. I can’t even pee if there’s someone in the next stall. Major shy bladder syndrome.”

    “Now, please.”

    Nag champa incense, patchouli, and freshly-soaped skin.

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  • Seven Word Story: Gluttony

    The subject of our latest #BPAL7wordstory contest was Gluttony. The winning entry was submitted by Crystal Rose-Thompson:

    The Sirens Eagerly Beckoned the Approaching Ship

    Sea splash on murky labdanum and gleaming olibanum, veiled in lavender, diaphanous osmanthus, gilded saffron, and honey incense.

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  • Seven Word Story: Lust

    Quoth one of the wordiest humans who ever lived: “Brevity is the soul of wit.” 

    This spring we challenged friends and fans to answer that call, baring their souls (and more) in our steamy, Lust-themed #BPAL7wordstory contest.

    “Seduce us in seven!” we demanded, promising the winning story would be enshrined in a Limited Edition fragrance. The response was overwhelming — and downright filthy. Over eight hundred entries later, Lust found its new champion. The winning story, submitted via Twitter by @GeekDame, took flight in our perfumer’s imagination and resulted in the following myth-tinged tryst. 

    Congrats to the winner, and keep your quills sharp! #BPAL7wordstory is only getting started. 

    He breathed smoke across her pomegranate-stained lips.

     Chthonic incense and blood-red pomegranate.

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  • skekZok the Ritual Master

    SkekZok the Ritual Master was thought to hold control of the court entirely in his own hands. He had the ear of skekSo the Emperor, whose wishes were absolute; no one could hope for success except through skekZok. He sought to rule the other Skeksis through prophecies he invented and false apparitions he conjured. SkekZok found that the Emperor raised favorites only to enjoy the pleasure of their fall, while other distrustful Skeksis practiced their own secret divinations. 

    An incense of deception: frankincense, opoponax, hyssop, champaca, and opium poppy accord.

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  • Snaky-Hair’d Moirai Many-Form’d

    Tobacco-threaded incense smoke, labdanum, red benzoin, and blackened vanilla.

    Proceeds from the sale of both of the Hymn to the Erinyes scents benefit RAINN, the United States’ largest anti-sexual violence organization. RAINN operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline, and provides programs to help survivors, prevent sexual violence, and ensure that offenders are brought to justice.

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  • Stormclouds Over the Midway

    In your smoke-addled confusion, the Midway seems strangely empty and devoid of life. The tents that line the path appear distorted, out of proportion, and cartoonish, their angles arching menacingly.

    For a moment, the only sound you hear is the soft squelch of your boots on the damp ground. As your eyes adjust, the tents right themselves, the sounds of the Midway swirl around you, and you feel the press of the crowd against your body. The Calliope’s eerie drone lilts above the swelling chatter.

    Wine-colored storm clouds are gathering, and the scent of incense and ozone is thick in the wet air.

    Thunder-charged ozone, plum-colored incense smoke, opium tar, and wormwood.

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  • Sybaris

    The pinnacle of wealth, luxury, self-indulgent pleasure, voluptuousness and sensuality.

    Bright violet with sweet clove, Mediterranean incense notes and tonka bean.

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  • The Bindle

    A jester’s balloon, a vagabond’s pack. The riddle and the punch line. The Consequence, the Mystery, the Untapped Collective Knowledge of All Mankind.

    Jasmine petals tumbled with a panoply of spices, suffused with incense smoke.

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  • The Buggre Alle This Bible

    The book was commonly known as the Buggre Alle This Bible. The lengthy compositor’s error, if such it may be called, occurs in the book of Ezekiel, chapter 48, verse five:

    2. And bye the border of Dan, fromme the east side to the west side, a portion for Afher.
    3. And bye the border of Afhter, fromme the east side even untoe the west side, a portion for Naphtali.
    4. And bye the border of Naphtali, from the east side untoe the west side, a portion for Manaffeh.
    5. Buggre all this for a Larke. I amme sick to mye Hart of typefettinge. Master Biltonn if no Gentelmann, and Master Scagges noe more than a tighte fisted Southwarke Knobbefticke. I telle you, onne a daye laike thif Ennywone half an oz. of Sense should bee oute in the Sunneshain, ane nott Stucke here alle the liuelong daie inn thif mowldey olde By-Our-Lady Workefhoppe.
    6 And bye the border of Ephraim, from the east fide even untoe the west fide, a portion for Reuben.

    [The Buggre Alle This Bible was also noteworthy for having twenty seven verses in the third chapter of Genesis, instead of the more usual twenty four.

    They followed verse 24, which in the King James version reads:

    “So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life,” and read:

    25 And the Lord spake unto the Angel that guarded the eastern gate, saying Where is the flaming sword which was given unto thee?
    26 And the Angel said, I had it here only a moment ago, I must have put it down some where, forget my own head next.
    27 And the Lord did not ask him again.

    It appears that these verses were inserted during the proof stage. In those days it was common practice for printers to hang proof sheets to the wooden beams outside their shops, for the edification of the populace and some free proofreading, and since the whole print run was subsequently burned anyway, no one bothered to take up this matter with the nice Mr. A. Ziraphale, who ran the bookshop two doors along and was always so helpful with the translations, and whose handwriting was instantly recognizable.]

    Crumbling paper and ancient cracked leather with a touch of tobacco leaf and incense.

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  • The Chapel

    You come to a building that seems to have been hastily erected from splintered wood, stone, and plaster. Flickering light from within sparkles out through blood-tinged chunks of glass that have been wedged into the arch entrance. You push open the thick velvet curtain that covers the mouth of the building and look inside. The chapel is small and cramped, and the air is thick with heavy incense, bitter wine, sulphur, and the coppery scent of blood. A massive stained glass window is set against the back wall, glowing brightly.

    In the center of the room, a groveling figure is crouched before a woman draped in purple-black clerical robes. The woman’s eyes are filled with righteous hellfire, and she extends a hand in benediction to the man who has fallen prostrate at her feet. He murmurs, “Libera Te Ex Caelum”, and she gestures for him to rise. As he gets to his knees he winces in pain and moans in a strange expression of ecstasy, and you see small horns growing from his skull.

    Black incense, bitter wine, brimstone, bile, and blood.

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  • The Parliament of Monsters

    You pass through the golden mouth, and find yourself inside a narrow, cramped corridor. Large wooden paintings of skeletal hands crook their bony fingers, leading you forwards. At the first turn, you hear a bizarre jumble of sounds: the high-pitched sound of gears grinding, metal on metal, the sound of sultry, low-pitched laughter, a clattering, wings flapping, soft hissing. Suddenly, a sharp howl pierces the darkness. As you make your way around the corner you are momentarily blinded as floodlights flicker to life, and thirteen gold-gilded stages are illuminated, bathed from beneath in sinister, caramel-colored light.

    Dust, incense, wet tobacco, singed straw, and a curl of opium smoke.

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  • The Witch Queen

    On a rocky mountain pass, on the southernmost slopes of Mount Belly, the witch-queen reined in her goat-drawn chariot and stopped and sniffed the chilly air.

    The myriad stars hung cold in the sky above her.

    Her red, red lips curved up into a smile of such beauty, such brilliance, such pure and perfect happiness that it would have frozen your blood in your veins to have seen it. “There,” she said. “She is coming to me.”

    And the wind of the mountain pass howled about her triumphantly, as if in answer.

    Wild plum, red musk, tuberose, calla lily, heliotrope, pimento, ylang ylang and beeswax beneath a dark haze of sinister purple-hued incense smoke.

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  • The Witches’ Ride

    Otto Goetze

    Red roses and vetiver with cashmere incense, rue, and cauldron spices.

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  • There Was Beauty, There Was Wine

    The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. All these and security were within. Without was the “Red Death.”

    Gushes of black and red wine splattering damask rose and white pear, engulfed in thick clove incense.

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  • This Wan White Humming Hive

    And where should the living feel alive
    But here in this wan white humming hive,
    As the moon wastes down, and the dawn turns cold,
    And one by one they creep back to the fold?
    And where should a man hold his mate and say:
    “One more, one more, ere we go their way”?
    For the year’s on the turn, and it’s All Souls’ night,
    When the living can learn by the churchyard light.

    White patchouli leaf, beeswax, ambergris, and pale incense.

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  • Zorya Vechernyaya

    “You see, I am the only one of us who brings in any money. The other two cannot make money fortune-telling. This is because they only tell the truth, and the truth is not what people want to hear. It is a bad thing, and it troubles people, so they do not come back. But I can lie to them, tell them what they want to hear. So I bring home the bread.”

    Red musk and wild plum, orange blossom and jasmine, juniper berries, sweet incense and vetiver-laced sandalwood.

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