Rose

  • A Group of Pale Courtiers

    It was in the eastern or blue chamber in which stood the Prince Prospero as he uttered these words. They rang throughout the seven rooms loudly and clearly — for the prince was a bold and robust man, and the music had become hushed at the waving of his hand.

    It was in the blue room where stood the prince, with a group of pale courtiers by his side. At first, as he spoke, there was a slight rushing movement of this group in the direction of the intruder, who at the moment was also near at hand, and now, with deliberate and stately step, made closer approach to the speaker.

    A sycophant’s polished stench: green musk fougere, lime, and rose-tufted wig powder.

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  • Alice

    Curiouser and curiouser. Milk and honey with rose, carnation and bergamot.

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  • Bess

    I grieve and dare not show my discontent,
    I love and yet am forced to seem to hate,
    I do, yet dare not say I ever meant,
    I seem stark mute but inwardly do prate.
    I am and not, I freeze and yet am burned,
    Since from myself another self I turned.
    My care is like my shadow in the sun,
    Follows me flying, flies when I pursue it,
    Stands and lies by me, doth what I have done.
    His too familiar care doth make me rue it.
    No means I find to rid him from my breast,
    Till by the end of things it be supprest.
    Some gentler passion slide into my mind,
    For I am soft and made of melting snow;
    Or be more cruel, love, and so be kind.
    Let me or float or sink, be high or low.
    Or let me live with some more sweet content,
    Or die and so forget what love ere meant.

    Inspired by the tragic, ill-fated love of Queen Elizabeth I and the Earl of Leicester. This is our modernization of a 17th-century perfume blend favored by British aristocracy: rosemary, orange flower, grape spirit, five rose variants, lemon peel, and mint.

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  • Black Hellebore – Resurrected

    Also called Melampode. In witchcraft legend, this is one of the components of the notorious flying ointment, and is used in rituals that summon the Devil. In Greek mythology, Melampus of Pylos used hellebore to save the daughters of the king of Argos from a Dionysian Maenad-like madness. In Christian myth, hellebore was born from the tears a little girl shed onto the snow because she had no gift to give to the Christ child. In low magick, it has been used by farmers to protect their livestock from the evil eye. Court magicians have used it in martial invisibility spells, enabling spies and assassins to infiltrate enemy camps. Hellebore resembles the wild rose, but does not belong to their family. The scent is a pale green herbal, darkly rooty, with a faint rose and peony-like overtone.

    Borage and hellebore fill two scenes,
    Sovereign plants to purge the veins
    Of melancholy, and cheer the heart
    Of those black fumes which make it smart.

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  • Black Rose

    Exquisitely melancholy. The background scent to an ancient exequies. Heavy, dark and floral: a blend of roses, with a touch of amber and musk.

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  • Blood Rose

    Sensual, robust, and silken: voluptuous red rose bursting with lascivious red wine and sultry dragon’s blood resin.

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  • Blue Blankie

    Lilith has several blankies that mean the world to her, and this is one of them. She’s had it since she was a baby, and she still sleeps with it every night. This blankie has been all over the US, has been to innumerable conventions, and has visited Paris, London, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Salzburg, and Berlin. This blankie has been a comfort in sorrow and a companion in joy. It has been clutched in laughter and has been succor in illness. This blanket has seen thousands upon thousands of dreams.

    May it always keep you warm, safe, and happy, Lilith.

    French lavender, skin musk, and a drop of rose water.

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  • Cicuta

    The Cicuta, also called the Rictus, are least likely to be accepted by human society, and are, sadly, also the least likely to be accepted by other vampires in general. Some vampires have a peculiar adverse reaction to the transference of the vampiric pathogen whereby their physical appearance is drastically altered: They lose their hair, their features become elongated, their eyes protrude, and a permanent and irreversible inflammation of their joints causes stiff movement and a clawlike rigidity in the hands and feet. Cicuta minds function as any other vampire’s, but their appearance is so startlingly different that they find it almost impossible to find any acceptance whatsoever among humans or vampires. Usually these afflicted vampires choose to live in isolation, either on secluded estates or literally underground. Occasionally, small groups of Cicutas can be found cohabitating, finding comfort and companionship with those that share their condition. The Cicuta were parodied somewhat in F. W. Murnau’s 1922 film Nosferatu.

    Dry, dusty rose petals, candle smoke, frankincense, and saffron.

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  • Croquet

    ‘Get to your places!’ shouted the Queen in a voice of thunder, and people began running about in all directions, tumbling up against each other; however, they got settled down in a minute or two, and the game began. Alice thought she had never seen such a curious croquet-ground in her life; it was all ridges and furrows; the balls were live hedgehogs, the mallets live flamingoes, and the soldiers had to double themselves up and to stand on their hands and feet, to make the arches.

    The chief difficulty Alice found at first was in managing her flamingo: she succeeded in getting its body tucked away, comfortably enough, under her arm, with its legs hanging down, but generally, just as she had got its neck nicely straightened out, and was going to give the hedgehog a blow with its head, it would twist itself round and look up in her face, with such a puzzled expression that she could not help bursting out laughing: and when she had got its head down, and was going to begin again, it was very provoking to find that the hedgehog had unrolled itself, and was in the act of crawling away: besides all this, there was generally a ridge or furrow in the way wherever she wanted to send the hedgehog to, and, as the doubled-up soldiers were always getting up and walking off to other parts of the ground, Alice soon came to the conclusion that it was a very difficult game indeed.

    We have some trouble managing our flamingos, too. Pink lime, pink grapefruit, white nectarine, wild rose, sage, woody patchouli, bergamot, and ornery hedgehog musk.

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  • Delight

    In ancient India it was believed that a specific combination of flower petals, when strewn across a couple’s bed, would amplify desire and sexual pleasure. This blend is a blend of the same floral essences, refined into a gloriously sinful perfume blend. Frangipani, with rose, tuberose, and jasmine.

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  • Deux

    Red rose petals dusted with a trove of ancient spices.

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  • Fortuna Obsequens

    The Fortunes of Love and Beauty

    A hymn to romance and glamour, passion and virility, seduction and delight: red roses and blood musk enveloped in a haze of blackcurrant, red patchouli, leather accord, and black oudh.

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  • Harper

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

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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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  • Hope & Faith, The Siamese Twins

    A huge crowd mills in front of the next stage. You hear the din of their voices, chattering in a Babel’s fall of languages, laughing and buzzing with a strange anticipation. As you get closer, you notice that they are wearing a motley mix of clothing from ages past… all rotting, all in shreds. In the sea of faces, all bearing a similar chalky pallor, some stand out: there is a woman in a threadbare Burgundian gown, a young man in torn breeches and sagging slops, a maiden in a dagged-sleeve houppelande that is splattered with cruor, a snarling Victorian rogue with a battered silk top hat, and a vacant-eyed man in a shredded Confederate uniform. As you make your way through the crowd, you feel cold fingers pluck at your clothing, and the hard, almost glassy skin that you brush against radiates an unnatural cold. You hear tittering sighs as you push through the gathering, and your skin prickles as you feel icy breath upon your neck. Abruptly, someone cries out, and the strange congregation begins clapping a steady rhythm. Their voices rise in a tintamar of ghastly cheers as torches flare to life. The firelight illuminates a gargantuan, shining black stake in the center of the stage. It is festooned with black ribbons, drooping moss, and viciously-colored poisonous blooms in a playful, grotesque mockery of a Maypole. Two women, clutched tightly in a brutal embrace, spin onto the stage, shaking a tambourine and clacking a hembra in time with the clapping. One is clad in violet, with violet tresses to match; the other is a vision of swirling rose. Their long, waving hair whips in manic arcs as they twirl, stomp, and pirouette around the onyx shaft. The crowd becomes more and more frenzied as the dance reaches a mad crescendo, and suddenly you realize that the two are one: they are conjoined, identical twins, bound eternally at the ribs. The violet sister, caught in the throes of the ritual’s passion, throws her head back and moans. She bares a set of gleaming white fangs and bites deeply into her sister’s neck. The rose maiden screams in joy, and returns her sister’s violent kiss as the crowd explodes into Corybantic mayhem.

    Simplicity and innocence, gleefully despoiled! Hope is sugared rose, Faith is sugared violet. The sisters are inseparable, and may only be purchased together. Presented in a velveteen pouch. $48.00.

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  • Il Bagatella

    The Carnival King, the embodiment of the liminal space that exists between the death and resurrection of Christ: pomegranate and Lebanese cedar, the martyr’s red rose, and an aspergillum of wine-soaked hyssop.

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  • In Time of Plague

    Adieu, farewell earth’s bliss!
    This world uncertain is:
    Fond are life’s lustful joys,
    Death proves them all but toys.
    None from his darts can fly;
    I am sick, I must die—
    Lord, have mercy on us!

    Rich men, trust not in wealth,
    Gold cannot buy you health;
    Physic himself must fade;
    All things to end are made;
    The plague full swift goes by;
    I am sick, I must die—
    Lord, have mercy on us!

    Beauty is but a flower
    Which wrinkles will devour;
    Brightness falls from the air;
    Queens have died young and fair;
    Dust hath closed Helen’s eye;
    I am sick, I must die—
    Lord, have mercy on us!

    Strength stoops unto the grave,
    Worms feed on Hector brave;
    Swords may not fight with fate;
    Earth still holds ope her gate;
    Come, come! the bells do cry;
    I am sick, I must die—
    Lord, have mercy on us!

    Wit with his wantonness
    Tasteth death’s bitterness;
    Hell’s executioner
    Hath no ears for to hear
    What vain art can reply:
    I am sick, I must die—
    Lord, have mercy on us!

    Haste therefore each degree
    To welcome destiny;
    Heaven is our heritage,
    Earth but a player’s stage.
    Mount we unto the sky;
    I am sick, I must die—
    Lord, have mercy on us!
    – Thomas Nashe

    Blackened roses against a backdrop of velvet opoponax, bitter clove, and tobacco abosolute.

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  • Jezebel

    Biblical witch, priestess of Astarte, and general troublemaker. A true role model for today’s upwardly mobile Modern Woman. A gloriously decadent blend of honey, roses, orange blossom and sandalwood.

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  • Knave of Hearts

    ‘Herald, read the accusation!’ said the King.

    On this the White Rabbit blew three blasts on the trumpet, and then unrolled the parchment scroll, and read as follows:–

    ‘The Queen of Hearts, she made some tarts,
    All on a summer day:
    The Knave of Hearts, he stole those tarts,
    And took them quite away!’

    Crushed roses and blackcurrant tarts.

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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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  • La Bella Donna Della Mia Mente

    My limbs are wasted with a flame,
    My feet are sore with traveling,
    For, calling on my Lady’s name,
    My lips have now forgot to sing.

    O Linnet in the wild-rose brake
    Strain for my Love thy melody,
    O Lark sing louder for love’s sake,
    My gentle Lady passeth by.

    She is too fair for any man
    To see or hold his heart’s delight,
    Fairer than Queen or courtesan
    Or moonlit water in the night.

    Her hair is bound with myrtle leaves,
    (Green leaves upon her golden hair!)
    Green grasses through the yellow sheaves
    Of autumn corn are not more fair.

    Her little lips, more made to kiss
    Than to cry bitterly for pain,
    Are tremulous as brook-water is,
    Or roses after evening rain.

    Her neck is like white melilote
    Flushing for pleasure of the sun,
    The throbbing of the linnet’s throat
    Is not so sweet to look upon.

    As a pomegranate, cut in twain,
    White-seeded, is her crimson mouth,
    Her cheeks are as the fading stain
    Where the peach reddens to the south.

    O twining hands! O delicate
    White body made for love and pain!
    O House of love! O desolate
    Pale flower beaten by the rain!

    Soft, lush myrtle and dry, sweet melilot with wild rose, pomegranate juice and peach blossom against a background of deep aquatic notes and a twirl of melancholy autumn breezes.

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  • La Papesse

    A visionary heretic, martyred to usher in a new Aeon: rose oudh, blackened myrrh, and cathedral incense.

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  • Les Fleurs du Mal

    The scents of the blossoms of darkness, condensed into one perfume. Features a rose base, softened with lilac and wisteria.

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  • Let Your Indulgence Set Me Free

    There are several scents this year that are inspired by Lilith’s performance in the Tempest, and this one was born from the triumphant smile on her face as she held the flowers her family brought for her.

    A cluster of peonies, carnations, roses, lilies and sweet pea cascading over a bright vanilla smile.

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  • Lilith Nightingale

    Whenever I’m sick, tired, or just run down, Lilith always tries to help out. She’s always helpful, but when someone is feeling poorly, she’s an absolute angel.

    This year, now that she’s a little bit older, she’s taken to cooking a bit here and there. Here, she’s stealing my Evil Dead shirt and making kitchari for me. I was feeling under the weather, and she wanted to take care of me. Oh my GOD, I love this kid.

    (She’s taken to wearing protective goggles that Brian gave her every time she cooks.)

    A bundle of Ayurvedic spices warmed in cream, with a little bit of dried fig and sweet dates.

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  • Lucy’s Kiss

    Created to represent the essence of Bram Stoker’s tragic heroine, Lucy Westenra. Seductive, wanton and deadly, but underscored with a soft, wistful innocense. The gentle scent of rose and a blend of Victorian spices

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  • Marguerite

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

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  • Mata Hari

    A renowned exotic dancer and courtesan, possessed of aristocratic elegance, matchless charm, an iron will and a streak of fearlessness. The actual events of her life have met with much speculation, and to this day it is unclear whether or not she was truly a German spy. Despite shaky evidence of her guilt, she was tried for espionage by a closed court-martial and was executed by a French firing squad in 1917.

    Her scent is striking and bold with a delicate yet dark undertone: five roses with soft jasmine, warmed by vanilla, fig, tonka bean and mahogany, spiced with a drop of coffee bean

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  • Meditation Buddy

    Ever since Lilith was five or so, she and I have meditated together. We do Headspace, we do breathing exercises, we just sit and share space together in silence. Sometimes we do it in the morning to start our day, sometimes we meditate at night to unwind.

    Our meditation space smells like vanilla-laced frankincense, Florida Water, sandalwood incense, salt crystals, candle wax, and white rose petals.

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  • Moscow

    A rich, bold blend of imperial rose, carnation, lush jasmine, lily of the valley, dark musk, amber, bergamot and gilded tangerine.

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  • Namaste

    A Sanskrit blessing and word of greeting that bears a powerful symbolism. It represents the Oneness of all of existence, the union of matter and spirit, perfect wholeness. It is accompanied by a gesture: Anjali — hands pressed together, fingertips heavenward, pressed together over the heart’s chakra.

    This oil blend is a serene, soothing Indian blend, created to bring calm and joy to the heart and peace to the spirit. Sandalwood, jasmine, rose, patchouli, cedarwood and lemongrass.

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  • Nyx

    Named in honor of the primeval Greek Goddess of Night. A scent reflecting inky black skies and eternal desolation. Night-blooming jasmine, warmed by myrrh, lifted by the promise of rose.

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  • Ode on Melancholy

    No, no, go not to Lethe, neither twist
    Wolf’s-bane, tight-rooted, for its poisonous wine;
    Nor suffer thy pale forehead to be kiss’d
    By nightshade, ruby grape of Proserpine;
    Make not your rosary of yew-berries,
    Nor let the beetle, nor the death-moth be
    Your mournful Psyche, nor the downy owl
    A partner in your sorrow’s mysteries;
    For shade to shade will come too drowsily,
    And drown the wakeful anguish of the soul.

    But when the melancholy fit shall fall
    Sudden from heaven like a weeping cloud,
    That fosters the droop-headed flowers all,
    And hides the green hill in an April shroud;
    Then glut thy sorrow on a morning rose,
    Or on the rainbow of the salt sand-wave,
    Or on the wealth of globed peonies;
    Or if thy mistress some rich anger shows,
    Emprison her soft hand, and let her rave,
    And feed deep, deep upon her peerless eyes.

    She dwells with Beauty — Beauty that must die;
    And Joy, whose hand is ever at his lips
    Bidding adieu; and aching Pleasure nigh,
    Turning to poison while the bee-mouth sips:
    Ay, in the very temple of Delight
    Veil’d Melancholy has her sovran shrine,
    Though seen of none save him whose strenuous tongue
    Can burst Joy’s grape against his palate fine;
    His soul shalt taste the sadness of her might,
    And be among her cloudy trophies hung.

    Beauty, joy, pleasure and delight: devastated. This is the scent of the hopelessness, torment and despair of love. Lavender and wisteria, heart-wrenching pale rose, desolate white sandalwood and thin, tear-streaked white musk.

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  • One Perfect Day

    You did not need to creep into my heart
    The way you did. You could have smiled
    And knowing what you did, you have kept apart
    From all my inner soul. But you beguiled
    Deliberately.

    —Alice Dunbar-Nelson

    Honeyed tea rose, lavender water, red benzoin, bois de rose, and rose amber.

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  • Othello

    Arabian musk with two roses and a bevy of Middle Eastern and Indian spices.

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  • Persephone

    Beautiful, radiant daughter of Demeter… her lovliness was so exquisite that even Hell itself could not resist her. Pomegranate and rose.

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  • Pink Fuzzy Handcuffs

    It’s not quite as fun when you lose the key. Pink cotton candy, candied rose, and vanilla sugar.

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  • Quatre

    Cacao-dusted red rose petals.

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  • Rose Cross

    A profound symbol of an individual’s personal initiatic process, spiritual refinement and evolution, synthesis, grace found as a result of trial and suffering, and the alchemical process by which we transform the raw essence of our souls through light in extension. This is a holy oil, a representation of the triumph of spirit over matter: purest rose with sacred frankincense.

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  • Seven Word Story: Envy

    The subject of our latest #BPAL7wordstory contest was Envy. The winning entry was submitted by Tyler Butler:

    Galatea wept as Pygmalion carved new statues

    Marble-white sandalwood, vanilla blossom, and orris root veined with whorls of ambergris accord, rose-touched with life, slowly shattering tears of bitter carrot seed and cistus.

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  • Six

    Red roses, black leather, and toasted almond.

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  • Solanine, the Flower Girl

    In the distance, you hear the discordant tolling of churchbells, uneven and strangely triumphant. As you turn towards the beckoning clang, you feel something brush across your neck: a gentle caress before a hundred pricking trichomes tear at your skin. There is a sudden whipping sensation and a clench of movement, and your throat is clamped in a rigid green noose.

    A raspy voice whispers, “Pardon,” and the grip on you loosens.

    A woman stands behind you. She holds a basket overflowing with creeping vines and flowers: razor-thorned roses, vibrant bursts of oleander, drooping cascades of wisteria, sprays of white hemlock and lily of the valley, bruise-blue pillows of aconite, purple-veined henbane, and the snapping jaws of monstrously large flytraps, glistening wet with mucilage. Her clothes smell faintly of manchineel smoke, and her fingertips are stained green. She smiles and shudders as the green tendrils that surround her writhe and contract. She plucks a red-spotted mushroom from her basket and places it gently in your palm before turning away.

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  • Spellbound

    Perfectly enchanting! An irresistibly sexual, utterly rapturous blend of three roses, radiant amber, and sensual red musk.

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  • Spooky Action at a Distance

    “When you separate an entwined particle and you move both parts away from the other, even at opposite ends of the universe, if you alter or affect one, the other will be identically altered or affected. Spooky.”

    Instantaneous correlated action between entangled partners: rose-infused sandalwood with violet leaf, frankincense, geranium rose, and a spark of elemi.

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  • The Amorous Tree

    “Gently, gently,’ he counseled himself. “No man with the power to summon Robin Hood – indeed, to create him – can be bound for long. A word, a wish, and this tree must be an acorn on a branch again, this rope be green in a marsh.’ But he knew before he called on it that whatever had visited him for a moment was gone again, leaving only an ache where it had been. He felt like an abandoned chrysalis.

    “Do as you will,’ he said softly. Captain Cully roused at his voice, and sang the fourteenth stanza.

    “There are fifty swords without the house, and fifty more within,
    And I do fear me, captain, they are like to do us in.’
    “Ha’ done, ha’ done,’ says Captain Cully, “and never fear again,
    For they may be a hundred swords, but we are seven men.’

    “I hope you get slaughtered,’ the magician told him, but Cully was asleep again. Schmendrick attempted a few simple spells for escaping, but he could not use his hands, and he had no more heart for tricks. What happened instead was that the tree fell in love with him and began to murmur fondly of the joy to be found in the eternal embrace of a red oak. “Always, always,’ it sighed, “faithfulness beyond any man’s deserving. I will keep the color of your eyes when no other in the world remembers your name. There is no immortality but a tree’s love.’

    “I’m engaged,’ Schmendrick excused himself. “To a western larch. Since childhood. Marriage by contract, no choice in the matter. Hopeless. Our story is never to be.’

    A gust of fury shook the oak, as though a storm were coming to it alone. “Galls and fireblight on her!’ it whispered savagely. “Damned softwood, cursed conifer, deceitful evergreen, she’ll never have you! We will perish together, and all trees shall treasure our tragedy!’

    Along his length Schmendrick could feel the tree heaving like a heart, and he feared that it might actually split in two with rage. The ropes were growing steadily tighter around him, and the night was beginning to turn red and yellow. He tried to explain to the oak that love was generous precisely because it could never be immortal, and then he tried to yell for Captain Cully, but he could only make a small, creaking sound, like a tree. She means well, he thought, and gave himself up for loved.

    A tree in love: misty, rose-flecked leaves, warm bark, and shuddering branches.

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  • The Best Lies

    “Such a pity,” Zorya Vechernyaya told Shadow. “In my fortune for you, I should have said you would have a long life and a happy one, with many children.”

    “That is why you are a good fortune-teller,” said Zorya Utrennyaya. She looked sleepy, as if it were an effort for her to be up so late. “You tell the best lies.”

    The melodious sweetness of false fortunes: sugar-swept honey and rose.

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  • The Carousel

    Calliope music played: a Strauss waltz, stirring and occasionally discordant. The wall as they entered was hung with antique carousel horses, hundreds of them, some in need of a lick of paint, others in need of a good dusting; above them hung dozens of winged angels constructed rather obviously from female store-window mannequins; some of them bared their sexless breasts; some had lost their wigs and stared baldly and blindly down from the darkness.

    And then there was the carousel.

    A sign proclaimed it was the largest in the world, said how much it weighed, how many thousand lightbulbs were to be found in the chandeliers that hung from it in Gothic profusion, and forbade anyone from climbing on it or from riding on the animals.

    And such animals! Shadow stared, impressed in spite of himself, at the hundreds of full-sized creatures who circled on the platform of the carousel. Real creatures, imaginary creatures, and transformations of the two: each creature was different. He saw mermaid and merman, centaur and unicorn, elephants (one huge, one tiny), bulldog, frog and phoenix, zebra, tiger, manticore and basilisk, swans pulling a carriage, a white ox, a fox, twin walruses, even a sea serpent, all of them brightly colored and more than real: each rode the platform as the waltz came to an end and a new waltz began. The carousel did not even slow down.

    “What’s it for?” asked Shadow. “I mean, okay, world’s biggest, hundreds of animals, thousands of lightbulbs, and it goes around all the time, and no one ever rides it.”

    “It’s not there to be ridden, not by people,” said Wednesday. “It’s there to be admired. It’s there to be.”

    A place of power and possibility, of gods diabolical and celestial: glowing amber and heady cinnamon, the green of growing things and the white of thunderclaps, sweet myrrh and sacred styrax, forest moss and blood-soaked battlefields, papyrus and clay, rose petals, wildflowers, abbatoirs, and honey.

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  • The Fool’s Rose

    Purity of ideal, unsullied innocence, liberation from base desires and worldly trappings.

    White rose, frankincense, verbena, and angelica root.

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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 Initiatrix

    Guiding the aspirant to spiritual knowledge and attainment through silence, reflection, intuition, and direct experience.

     

    Red benzoin and rose.

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  • The Little Wooden Doll

    “My little Vasilissa, my dear daughter, listen to what I say, remember well my last words and fail not to carry out my wishes. I am dying, and with my blessing, I leave to thee this little doll. It is very precious for there is no other like it in the whole world. Carry it always about with thee in thy pocket and never show it to anyone. When evil threatens thee or sorrow befalls thee, go into a corner, take it from thy pocket and give it something to eat and drink. It will eat and drink a little, and then thou mayest tell it thy trouble and ask its advice, and it will tell thee how to act in thy time of need.” So saying, she kissed her little daughter on the forehead, blessed her, and shortly after died.

    Little Vasilissa grieved greatly for her mother, and her sorrow was so deep that when the dark night came, she lay in her bed and wept and did not sleep. At length she be thought herself of the tiny doll, so she rose and took it from the pocket of her gown and finding a piece of wheat bread and a cup of kvass, she set them before it, and said: “There, my little doll, take it. Eat a little, and drink a little, and listen to my grief. My dear mother is dead and I am lonely for her.”

    Then the doll’s eyes began to shine like fireflies, and suddenly it became alive. It ate a morsel of the bread and took a sip of the kvass, and when it had eaten and drunk, it said:

    “Don’t weep, little Vasilissa. Grief is worst at night. Lie down, shut thine eyes, comfort thyself and go to sleep. The morning is wiser than the evening.” So Vasilissa the Beautiful lay down, comforted herself and went to sleep, and the next day her grieving was not so deep and her tears were less bitter.

    Gently carved wood warm with a maternal love that reaches beyond death: rose-infused amber and soft golden sandalwood.

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  • The Queen of Love

    O Venus, beauty of the skies,
    To whom a thousand temples rise,
    Gaily false in gentle smiles,
    Full of love-perplexing wiles;
    O goddess, from my heart remove
    The wasting cares and pains of love.

    Red rose petals, benzoin, honey myrtle and ambrette seed.

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  • The Rose

    When they found that their father must take a journey to the ship, the two eldest begged he would not fail to bring them back some new gowns, caps, rings, and all sorts of trinkets. But Beauty asked for nothing; for she thought in herself that all the ship was worth would hardly buy everything her sisters wished for. “Beauty,” said the merchant, “how comes it that you ask for nothing: what can I bring you, my child?”

    “Since you are so kind as to think of me, dear father,” she answered, “I should be glad if you would bring me a rose, for we have none in our garden.” Now Beauty did not indeed wish for a rose, nor anything else, but she only said this that she might not affront her sisters; otherwise they would have said she wanted her father to praise her for desiring nothing.

    The promise of a rose: red rose petals, fresh sap, and the sharp green scent of stem and leaf.

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  • The Spirit Bridegroom

    UNCANNY STORY FROM THE ONSET SPIRITUALISTS
    Wealthy Widow Becomes a Ghost’s Bride

    The Bangs Sisters, May and Lizzie, Continue to Startle the Peaceful Residents of a Massachusetts Town – the Spirit Bridegroom

    Charming May Bands and her sister, the great spiritualists, who, when at home, reside in Chicago, have lately startled the natives of Onset, Mass. This statement means more than might appear on the surface when it is added that that little town is almost wholly made up of spiritualists. Thither the Bangs sisters hied themselves some weeks ago to take part in the summer assembly of the eastern societies. They made their headquarters at Happy Home cottage, where they were daily visited by pilgrims in search of friends and relatives long since in the “other world.” Among those visitors was a rich widow from the far west, who wanted to see her lover, who had been a captain in the United States army. The captain, who came from Maryland, died on the eve of his marriage to the rich widow. For a year she has worn widows’ weeds and longed for even a visit from the spirit of her departed lover. Miss Bangs informed her that she could not only produce the captain’s spirit, but that the marriage ceremony that had been cut off by death would be performed in Happy Home cottage. A few days ago an item was given out for publication to the effect that the ceremony had been effectually performed some days before. In speaking of it May Bangs said:

    “I materialized the form and the lover came out of the cabinet attired in the uniform of an army officer. The premises had been previously examined to prove that there was no mortal about. The materialized spirit asked that the curtains be drawn for a while to shut off the front parlor. The bride wanted him to put on her slipper, and he did.

    “Only a faint light shone through the room where the minister and others were waiting. He kissed her numerous times. The bride was in a new wedding dress. Then the materialized spirit lover requested that the marriage ceremony be performed, and the request was granted. He placed a ring on her finger. They were together a long time that evening.”

    – Fort Wayne Sentinel, September 10, 1894
    Misted roses and the memory of cologne, salt-wet and bittersweet.

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  • Titania

    A nocturnal bounty of fae dew-kissed petals and pale fruits: white grape, white peach, iced pear, musk rose, sweet pea, moonflower and snapdragon.

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  • Two, Five & Seven

    ‘Would you tell me,’ said Alice, a little timidly, ‘why you are painting those roses?’

    Five and Seven said nothing, but looked at Two. Two began in a low voice, ‘Why the fact is, you see, Miss, this here ought to have been a red rose-tree, and we put a white one in by mistake; and if the Queen was to find it out, we should all have our heads cut off, you know. So you see, Miss, we’re doing our best, afore she comes, to–’

    A huge bouquet of squished rose petals: Bulgarian rose, Somalian rose, Turkish rose, Damascus rose, red and white rose, tea rose, wine rose, shrub roses, rose, rose, rose…

    …and just an itty bitty bit of green grass.

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  • Un

    Cherry-dipped rose candy.

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  • Wanda

    “And yet a restless, always unsatisfied craving for the nudity of paganism,” she interrupted, “but that love, which is the highest joy, which is divine simplicity itself, is not for you moderns, you children of reflection. It works only evil in you. As soon as you wish to be natural, you become common. To you nature seems something hostile; you have made devils out of the smiling gods of Greece, and out of me a demon. You can only exorcise and curse me, or slay yourselves in bacchantic madness before my altar. And if ever one of you has had the courage to kiss my red mouth, he makes a barefoot pilgrimage to Rome in penitential robes and expects flowers to grow from his withered staff, while under my feet roses, violets, and myrtles spring up every hour, but their fragrance does not agree with you. Stay among your northern fogs and Christian incense; let us pagans remain under the debris, beneath the lava; do not disinter us. Pompeii was not built for you, nor our villas, our baths, our temples. You do not require gods. We are chilled in your world.”

    Along with Loviatar, she has become something of a Patron Goddess of all Dominatrixes, Wanda is the breathtakingly beautiful sable-wrapped marble queen of Sacher-Masoch’s fantasies. Her scent is a deep red merlot with a faint hint of leather, sexual musk and body heat over crushed roses, violets and myrtle.

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  • Whip

    Agony and ecstasy: black leather and damp red rose.

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  • Whole Unto Herself

    Life imposes so many restrictions on us as we climb through the years: responsibilities, challenges, hardship. Lilith, my baby, may you soar through it with exuberance and grace. Never lose your joy and your sense of self, the triumph of daily pleasures, and the freedom of your soul. May the sorrows of the world never calcify around you; may the sorrows of the world never dim your light or silence your song.

    A prayer for my daughter: frankincense, rose, and white lilies.

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  • Wicked

    A paean to all the Wicked Queens, Evil Stepmothers, and other misunderstood villainesses throughout history and lore. Lends an aura of majesty, refinement, strength, and a deep, brooding malice. A sophisticated, womanly scent: rich myrrh and jasmine draped in the subtlest rose.

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  • Zombi

    Dried roses, rose leaf, Spanish moss, oakmoss and deep brown earth.

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