Opium

  • Anathema

    A scent as heavy as thunder from the Vatican, with notes that inspire every sin and excess. Black opium, with vetivert and honeysuckle.

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  • Behind the Veils

    Blood-red light cascades through languorous folds of sheer cloth. Hell-bright embers breathe into the gloom as billowing ribbons of thick, dark incense wrap their tendrils of smoke around your body like the curious hands of a lover.

    Heady red musk, myrrh and honey, drops of cinnamon and crushed cardamom pod, the taste of opium-laced black wine, sweet oudh, and threads of saffron.

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  • Belle Époque

    “The Pretty Era”, France’s Golden Time: an age of beauty, innovation and peace in France that lasted from the 19th Century through the first World War and gave birth to the cabaret, the cancan, and the cinema as well as the Impressionist and Art Nouveau movements. Sweet opium, Lily of the Valley, vanilla, mandarin and red sandalwood.

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  • Carnaval Diabolique

    Straight from the twisted alleys of Dis, by way of the City of Angels: opium smoke, lemon flower, heliotrope, tuberose, black musk, vanilla, coconut, apricot flower.

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  • Darkness

    The waves were dead; the tides were in their grave,
    The moon, their mistress, had expir'd before;
    The winds were wither'd in the stagnant air,
    And the clouds perish'd; Darkness had no need
    Of aid from them — She was the Universe.

    Bottled gloom; the essence of oblivion. Blackest opium and narcissus deepened by myrrh.

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  • Debauchery

    A sinful, licentious scent: self-indulgent and luxurious. Mingled heady civet and red Egyptian musk, thickened with opium.

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  • Kubla Khan

    In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
    A stately pleasure-dome decree:
    Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
    Through caverns measureless to man
    Down to a sunless sea.

    So twice five miles of fertile ground
    With walls and towers were girdled round:
    And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
    Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
    And here were forests ancient as the hills,
    Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.
    But oh! that deep romantic chasm which slanted
    Down the green hill athwart a cedarn cover!
    A savage place! as holy and enchanted
    As e’er beneath a waning moon was haunted
    By woman wailing for her demon-lover!
    And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething,
    As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing,
    A mighty fountain momently was forced:
    Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst
    Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail,
    Or chaffy grain beneath the thresher’s flail:
    And ‘mid these dancing rocks at once and ever
    It flung up momently the sacred river.
    Five miles meandering with a mazy motion
    Through wood and dale the sacred river ran,
    Then reached the caverns measureless to man,
    And sank in tumult to a lifeless ocean:
    And ‘mid this tumult Kubla heard from far
    Ancestral voices prophesying war!

    The shadow of the dome of pleasure
    Floated midway on the waves;
    Where was heard the mingled measure
    From the fountain and the caves.
    It was a miracle of rare device,
    A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!

    A damsel with a dulcimer
    In a vision once I saw:
    It was an Abyssinian maid,
    And on her dulcimer she played,
    Singing of Mount Abora.
    Could I revive within me
    Her symphony and song,
    To such a deep delight ‘twould win me
    That with music loud and long
    I would build that dome in air,
    That sunny dome! those caves of ice!
    And all who heard should see them there,
    And all should cry, Beware! Beware!
    His flashing eyes, his floating hair!
    Weave a circle round him thrice,
    And close your eyes with holy dread,
    For he on honey-dew hath fed
    And drunk the milk of Paradise.

    Through sunlit caves of ice, roses unfurl amidst dancing waves of serpentine opium smoke and amber tobacco, golden sandalwood, champaca, tea leaf, sugared lily, ginger, rich hay absolute, leather, dark vanilla, mandarin, peru balsam, and Moroccan jasmine.

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  • L’Heure Verte

    Recoiling, you back away from the dicing. A large tent striped in many shades of green grabs your attention, and you walk towards it. You peer inside the open tent flap and see a room crowded with people in various stages of profound intoxication. Tables are littered with glasses filled with thick, cloudy emerald liquid, and candlelight glints on discarded silver spoons. The scent of spilled absinthe, opium smoke, lilac blossoms, and rose water permeates the stifling air of the tent. As you close the tent flap and turn to leave, you see a scantily clad server bend close to a rugged laborer that is sitting slumped in a sagging chair. A low velvety voice voice asks, “Another drink for you, Monsieur Lanfray?”

    Spilled absinthe, scorched sugar cubes, opium smoke, lilac blossoms, and rose water.

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  • Languor

    An opiate torpor, soporific, trancelike, and sublimely languid. A poet’s morphine dream, a listless journey into a gentle dream and the precipice of intoxicated madness. Paperwhite and black narcissus, three lilies, black poppy and tuberose and a hint of hypnotic opium den haze.

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  • Poisoned Apple

    The queen stepped before her mirror:

    Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
    Who in this land is fairest of all?

    The mirror answered:

    You, my queen, are fair; it is true.
    But Little Snow-White with the seven dwarfs
    Is a thousand times fairer than you.

    When the queen heard this, she shook and trembled with anger, “Snow-White will die, if it costs me my life!” Then she went into her most secret room — no one else was allowed inside — and she made a poisoned, poisoned apple. From the outside it was red and beautiful, and anyone who saw it would want it. Then she disguised herself as a peasant woman, went to the dwarfs’ house and knocked on the door.

    Snow-White peeped out and said, “I’m not allowed to let anyone in. The dwarfs have forbidden it most severely.”

    “If you don’t want to, I can’t force you,” said the peasant woman. “I am selling these apples, and I will give you one to taste.”

    “No, I can’t accept anything. The dwarfs don’t want me to.”

    “If you are afraid, then I will cut the apple in two and eat half of it. Here, you eat the half with the beautiful red cheek!” Now the apple had been so artfully made that only the red half was poisoned. When Snow-White saw that the peasant woman was eating part of the apple, her desire for it grew stronger, so she finally let the woman hand her the other half through the window. She bit into it, but she barely had the bite in her mouth when she fell to the ground dead.

    The queen was happy, went home, and asked her mirror:

    Mirror, mirror, on the wall,
    Who in this land is fairest of all?

    And it answered:

    You, my queen, are fairest of all.

    A perfect, lovely, gleaming red apple whose sweetness masks a swirl of narcotic opium, oleander, and hemlock.

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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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  • The Forest Reverie

    ‘Tis said that when
    The hands of men
    Tamed this primeval wood,
    And hoary trees with groans of woe,
    Like warriors by an unknown foe,
    Were in their strength subdued,
    The virgin Earth Gave instant birth
    To springs that ne’er did flow
    That in the sun Did rivulets run,
    And all around rare flowers did blow
    The wild rose pale Perfumed the gale
    And the queenly lily adown the dale
    (Whom the sun and the dew
    And the winds did woo),
    With the gourd and the grape luxuriant grew.

    So when in tears
    The love of years
    Is wasted like the snow,
    And the fine fibrils of its life
    By the rude wrong of instant strife
    Are broken at a blow
    Within the heart
    Do springs upstart
    Of which it doth now know,
    And strange, sweet dreams,
    Like silent streams
    That from new fountains overflow,
    With the earlier tide
    Of rivers glide
    Deep in the heart whose hope has died —
    Quenching the fires its ashes hide, —
    Its ashes, whence will spring and grow
    Sweet flowers, ere long,
    The rare and radiant flowers of song!

    A sunlit ancient forest, dotted with wild roses, grape vine, and queenly lilies, clothed in swirls of opium smoke.

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  • The Marquis De Carabas

    He wore a huge dandyish black coat that was not quite a frock coat nor exactly a trench coat, and high black boots, and, beneath his coat, raggedy clothes. His eyes burned white in an extremely dark face. And he grinned whie teeth, momentarily, as if at a private joke of his own, and bowed to Richard, and said, “De Carabas, at your service, and you are…?”

    A splash of bay rum, leather, dusty black wool, massoia bark, and opium residue.

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