Vetiver

  • A Countenance Forboding Evil

    Thy gloomy features, like a midnight dial,
    Scowl the dark index of a fearful hour.

    Patchouli, ylang ylang, blood orange, and vetiver.

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  • Alecto

    Unceasing In Anger

    Olive leaf, raspberry leaf, vetiver and cedarwood.

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  • An Excerpt from Speculum Heroicum Principis Omnium Temporum Poëtarum Homeri

    Brazilian vetiver, dark myrrh, peru balsam, laurel leaf, white sage, and cedar.

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  • 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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  • Antonino, the Carny Talker

    As you approach an enormous patchwork tent, a curious sound catches your attention: the rattle of bones and the tinkling of tiny bells heralds the arrival of a gaunt and ghastly creature. An animated skeleton dressed in a jester’s motley saunters towards the front of the tent, waving an orange and black striped cane at the crowd in an effort to clear a path. The jester makes his way past the fog-shrouded, faded, colossal posters that adorn the tent to a platform in front of the massive tent’s entrance. His ivory smile frozen in a gleeful rictus grin, he steps up onto the platform, taps the cane three times, and the jester costume vanishes. Suddenly dark eyes appear in the empty sockets, bones are wrapped in muscle, sinew grows over the bones, blood fills rapidly appearing veins. Before your eyes, the skeletal jester has become a dapper, handsome man, dressed in black and orange, with a skull-ornamented straw hat tilted jauntily upon his shining black hair.

    His smile is slick and conspiratorial. With a flourish and arcing wave of his cane, he booms:

    “Step right up, ladies and gentlemen! This is Carnaval Diabolique’s notorious 13-In-1: the finest freak show in all the Hells! What marvels await you, you ask? Simply the strangest and most fantastic creatures, human and inhuman, gathered for your entertainment, enlightenment and erudition!”

    With the cane, he gestures at the gigantic posters that adorn the tent. The images, once hazy, suddenly come into focus.

    “From the depths of the Black Forest: Arachnina, the Spider Girl! From the rain-swept streets of London: Hope and Faith, the Siamese Twins! From ruins of old Aquae Sextia: Wulric, the Wolf Man!

    “Thalassa, the Galapagos Mermaid! A vision of life-in-death, Eshe!

    “All in all, THIRTEEN anatomical curiosities, miracles of genetics, magick and science, masters of marvels, ALIVE ON THE INSIDE!”

    White musk, wild plum, vetiver, black coconut, verbena, fig, and lavender.

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  • Azathoth BPAL Perfume Oil Blend

    Azathoth

    The Daemon Sultan, Seething Nuclear Chaos

    …that last amorphous blight of nethermost confusion which blasphemes and bubbles at the centre of all infinity — the boundless daemon-sultan Azathoth, whose name no lips dare speak aloud, and who gnaws hungrily in inconceivable, unlighted chambers beyond time amidst the muffled, maddening beating of vile drums and the thin, monotonous whine of accursed flutes; to which detestable pounding and piping dance slowly, awkwardly, and absurdly the gigantic ultimate gods, the blind, voiceless, tenebrous, mindless Other Gods whose soul and messenger is the crawling chaos Nyarlathotep.

    Azathoth is the blind, idiot god who sits on a black throne at the center of Chaos. His scent is high-pitched and screeching, both impenetrably dark and searingly bright with the clarity of madness: tangerine, saffron, vetiver, black amber and cedarwood.

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  • Black Annis

    Vast talons, foul with human flesh, there grew
    In place of hands, and features livid blue
    Glar’d in her visage; while the obscene waist
    Warm skins of human victims close embraced.

    The blue faced hag of the British Hills. She lives in the Dane Hills, Leicestershire, in a cave called Black Annis’ Bower Close, which she dug out of rock with her own iron-strong claws. Dozens of huge cats prowl the Bower with her, and it is guarded by a great pollarded oak in which she hides so that she may catch lambs and small children to eat. She carries her victims back to her cave, where she flays them alive before devouring them. She drapes their skins on her guardian oak to dry. Her skirt is fashioned from the skins of her prey, and her bed is a high-piled bed of their bones.

    Black Annis’ perfume is a mixture of damp cave lichen and oak leaf with a hint of vetiver, civet and anise.

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  • Blood Kiss

    Lush, creamy vanilla and the honey of the sweetest kiss smeared with the vital throb of husky clove, swollen red cherries, but darkened with the vampiric sensuality of vetiver, soporific poppy and blood red wine, and a skin-light pulse of feral musk.

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  • Bloodlust

    A fiery Martial blend that embodies primal rage, lust for conquest, and all-encompassing desire. Dragon’s blood essence, heavy red musk, Indonesian patchouli and swarthy vetiver with a drop of cinnamon.

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  • Bluebeard – Resurrected

    A scent swirling with dark rage, unbridled jealousy, and murderous intent. Violet, lavender, white musk and vetiver.

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  • Bram Stoker

    No man knows till he has suffered from the night how sweet and dear to his heart and eye the morning can be.

    Bourbon vetiver with opoponax, Italian bergamot, and hay absolute.

    Illustrated by Abigail Larson.
    Purchase the tee here!

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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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  • Czernobog

    Created in honor of the Slavic Black God of the Dead. A nighttime god of grief, evil, chaos and woe, he is paralleled by his twin brother Bylebog, god of light, joy, order, and good fortune.

    A combination of three musks, with splashes of dark myrrh, vetiver and mullein.

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  • Death Adder

    Snake Oil with vetiver, black coconut, vanilla, and opoponax.

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  • Death on a Pale Horse

    And I looked, and behold a pale horse: and his name that sat on him was Death, and Hell followed with him. And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.

    The End of All Things: empty white musk and mint seeped with solemn lavender, doleful patchouli and vetiver, scythe-sharp yuzu and lime, with geranium bourbon, white sandalwood and calla lily.

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  • Deuteronomy 10:18

    He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.

    Hay absolute, patchouli, agarwood, and vetiver.

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  • Elli’s Song

    “Most shows,” said Rukh after a time, “would end here, for what could they possibly present after a genuine unicorn? But Mommy Fortuna’s Midnight Carnival holds one more mystery yet – a demon more destructive than the dragon, more monstrous than the manticore, more hideous than the harpy, and certainly more universal than the unicorn.” He waved his hand toward the last wagon and the black hangings began to wriggle open, though there was no one pulling them. “Behold her!” Rukh cried. “Behold the last, the Very End! Behold Elli!” 

    Inside the cage, it was darker than the evening, and cold stirred behind the bars like a live thing. Something moved in the cold, and the unicorn saw Elli – an old, bony, ragged woman who crouched in the cage rocking and warming herself before a fire that was not there. She looked so frail that the weight of the darkness should have crushed her, and so helpless and alone that the watchers should have rushed forward in pity to free her. Instead, they began to back silently away, for all the world as though Elli were stalking them. But she was not even looking at them. She sat in the dark and creaked a song to herself in a voice that sounded like a saw going through a tree, and like a tree getting ready to fall.

    'What is plucked will grow again,
    What is slain lives on,
    What is stolen will remain –
    What is gone is gone.'

    “She doesn’t look like much, does she?” Rukh asked. “But no hero can stand before her, no god can wrestle her down, no magic can keep her out – or in, for she’s no prisoner of ours. Even while we exhibit her here, she is walking among you, touching and taking. For Elli is Old Age.”

    The cold of the cage reached out to the unicorn, and wherever it touched her she grew lame and feeble. She felt herself withering, loosening, felt her beauty leaving her with her breath. Ugliness swung from her mane, dragged down her head, stripped her tail, gaunted her body, ate up her coat, and ravaged her mind with remembrance of what she had once been. Somewhere nearby, the harpy made her low, eager sound, but the unicorn would gladly have huddled in the shadow of her bronze wings to hide from this last demon. Elli’s song sawed away at her heart.

    'What is sea-born dies on land,
    Soft is trod upon.
    What is given burns the hand –
    What is gone is gone.'

    The horrors of entropy, death, and decay: desiccated black mosses, vetiver, olibanum, patchouli, and ashes.

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  • Fallen

    Better to reign in Hell than serve in Heav’n.

    This is our song to Lucifer, Lucis Ferre, Heosphoros, the Morning Star, the Brilliant One and the Son of the Morning. He is equated with Samhazai, the Heaven-Seizer, and Azazel, one of the 200 Fallen Angels of Enoch. The essence of overweening pride and unearthly angelic beauty. A regal scent, glowing darkly, elegant and patrician, but unfathomably desolate. Cherubic white sandalwood and golden musk with a dark halo of amber, a breath of imperial florals, unbending woods, and the shadow cast by vetiver and violet.

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  • Fortuna Mala

    Fickle Fortune

    A hymn to propitiate the gods of misfortune and honor the balance of forces in the universe: vetiver, patchouli, and black clove.

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  • Fourth Lash

    Black rose, Baltic amber, leather, white sandalwood, black pepper, and vetiver.

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  • Funnel of Love

    17-year aged black patchouli, champaca flower, cardamom bud, green coriander, Haitian vetiver, red vegetal musk, black pepper, night-blooming jasmine, and leather.

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  • Green Tree Viper

    Snake Oil with four mints, bergamot, and green tea.

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  • Hagsgate

    “When those words were first spoken,” Drinn said, “Haggard had not been long in the country, and all of it was still soft and blooming – all but the town of Hagsgate. Hagsgate was then as this land has become: a scrabbly, bare place where men put great stones on the roofs of their huts to keep them from blowing away.” He grinned bitterly at the older men. “Crops to harvest, stock to tend! You grew cabbages and rutabagas and a few pale potatoes, and in all of Hagsgate there was but one weary cow. Strangers thought the town accursed, having offended some vindictive witch or other.”

    Molly felt the unicorn go by in the street, then turn and come back, restless as the torches on the walls, that bowed and wriggled. She wanted to run out to her, but instead she asked quietly, “And afterward, when that had come true?”

    Drinn answered, “From that moment, we have known nothing but bounty. Our grim earth has grown so kind that gardensand orchards spring up by themselves – we need neither to plant nor to tend them. Our flocks multiply; our craftsmen become more clever in their sleep; the air we breathe and the water we drink keep us from ever knowing illness. All sorrow parts to go around us – and this has come about while the rest of the realm, once so green, has shriveled to cinders under Haggard’s hand. For fifty years, none but he and we have prospered. It is as though all others had been cursed.”

    An accursed bounty: rich black soil and hay, cucumber, tomato, red lettuce, summer squash, black eggplant, arugula, grape vine, artichoke, and a tangle of herbs marred by an undercurrent of vetiver, patchouli, and black moss.

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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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  • Iago

    Malevolent, dark and shadowy: sinuous black musk, wet leather and vetiver.

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  • Lamia

    ‘And you said you’d pay me for being your guide. And it’s what I want, as my payment. Warmth. Can I have some?’ Anything she wanted. Anything. The honeysuckle and the lily of the valley wrapped around him, and his eyes saw nothing but her pale skin and her dark plum-bloom lips and her jet black hair.

    Deadly elegance: pale orchid, vanilla amber, black currant, white peach, champaca, coconut, Arabian myrrh, Burmese vetiver, and oude.

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  • Malediction

    Evil incarnate. Revel in your dark side with this romantically cruel scent. Contains red patchouli and vetivert.

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  • Moons of Saturn: Hyrrokkin

    Thou didst smite the head of Keila,
    Smash Kjallandi altogether,
    Ere thou slewest Lútr and Leidi,
    Didst spill the blood of Búseyra;
    Didst hold back Hengjankjapta,
    Hyrrokkin died before;
    Yet sooner in like fashion
    Svívör from life was taken.

    Hringhorni, Baldr’s ship, was the largest of all such vessels and was to serve as the god’s funeral ship.

    When Loki murdered Baldur, the gods built the funeral pyre on his ship, Hringhorni. Hringhorni was massive, and none of the Aesir could move it, so they begged help of the Jötun, Hyrrokkin. Fire-smoked and flame-haired, the giantess arrived on a gargantuan wolf harnessed by reins made of live vipers. Hyrrokkin was able to push Baldur’s funeral ship out to sea, but the force of her strength caused the earth to quake and the rollers to burst into flame. Thor, angered by the quake and the conflagration, was intent on murdering Hyrrokkin until the Aesir stayed his hand.

    Viper-green and smoldering: smoke-swirled black pine, patchouli leaf, coriander, and sweet green vetiver.

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  • Moons of Saturn: Mimas

    Son of Gaia, slain by Hephastus with red-hot iron, incinerated by Zeus’ lightning bolts. Not a lucky fellow at all.

    A thunderclap of ozone and red peppercorn slicing through sweet vetiver, black patchouli, and opoponax.

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  • Mr. Morse’s Seances

    Inquiries into the Philosophy and Phenomena of Spiritualism should procure admission to Mr. Morse’s Seances at 15, Southampton Road Holborn, London on Friday Evenings at Eight O’Clock.

    Don’t be late: polished teakwood, pipe smoke, sugar-clouded absinthe, vetiver, and rum musk.

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  • Nephilim

    Dark children conceived from the union of Fallen Angels and the Daughters of Men. According to lore, the angel Shemhazai led a group of his angels to earth to instruct mankind in the ways of piety and righteousness. After a time, the angels became prey to earthly desires and began to lust after the daughters of man, and thus they fell. They instructed their mortal mates in the arts of conjuration, summoning, necromancy and other magickal arts. The fruits of their union are the Nephilim: possessed of superhuman strength, cunning, and infinite capacity, and hunger for, sin. Venerated as heroes by some, vilified by most, the Nephilim eventually annihilated one another in a cataclysmic civil war instigated by the angel Gabriel as punishment for their transgressions.

    Holy frankincense and hyssop in union with earthy fig, defiled by black patchouli and vetiver, with a chaotic infusion of lavender, cardamom, tamarind, rosemary, oakmoss and cypress.

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  • Orc

    Field grey courgette musk, roughly cured leather, and vetiver.

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  • Qandisa

    The Moroccan Goddess of Carnal Desire. Dwelling in fresh-water springs and rivers, she is doom: her embrace drives men mad with mindless lust. Sacrifices are made to the Lady of Lust on the Summer Solstice in the hopes of placating her passions and driving her red-tinged gaze away. Black musk, blackened saffron, lemon peel, and vetiver draped over thick honey.

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  • Roses, Pearls and Diamonds

    The youngest, who was the very picture of her father for courtesy and sweetness of temper, was withal one of the most beautiful girls ever seen. As people naturally love their own likeness, this mother even doted on her eldest daughter and at the same time had a horrible aversion for the youngest–she made her eat in the kitchen and work continually.

    Among other things, this poor child was forced twice a day to draw water above a mile and a-half off the house, and bring home a pitcher full of it. One day, as she was at this fountain, there came to her a poor woman, who begged of her to let her drink. 

    “Oh! ay, with all my heart, Goody,” said this pretty little girl; and rinsing immediately the pitcher, she took up some water from the clearest place of the fountain, and gave it to her, holding up the pitcher all the while, that she might drink the easier. 

    The good woman, having drunk, said to her: 

    You are so very pretty, my dear, so good and so mannerly, that I cannot help giving you a gift.” For this was a fairy, who had taken the form of a poor country woman, to see how far the civility and good manners of this pretty girl would go. “I will give you for a gift,” continued the Fairy, “that, at every word you speak, there shall come out of your mouth either a flower or a jewel.” 

    When this pretty girl came home her mother scolded her for staying so long at the fountain. 

    “I beg your pardon, mamma,” said the poor girl, “for not making more haste.” 

    And in speaking these words there came out of her mouth two roses, two pearls, and two diamonds.

    Red roses, dazzling crystalline musks, and pearlescent coconut-tinged orris.

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  • Sissy, The Ascendant

    Sassafras and smoke for black vulture feathers, and King mandarin and red musk for the deep red-orange of the vulture’s face. Blue lilac and chamomile / opoponax and vetiver for the blue and black of her eyes. Vanilla bean and fig represent her innate goodness and instinctive kindness.

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  • skekUng the Garthim Master

    Strongest of all for brute force – after the Emperor – was skekUng the Garthim Master. Torment was his pleasure, though his urSkeks originally had been a healer and continued so in his urRu form. Hidden in that tall, shining urSkek was one who, ages later, could find pleasure in tearing apart the gentle Gelfling. The urSkeks knew this evil was in them and tried hard to burn it out.

    Brute force and destruction: vetiver, smoke, steel, and dragon’s blood resin.

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  • Sloth

    Thick, dark, sluggish and heavy with indolence: vetiver over black myrrh.

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  • Spider

    There was a family resemblance between the two men. That was unarguable, although that alone did not explain the intense feeling of familiarity that Fat Charlie felt on seeing Spider. His brother looked like Fat Charlie wished he looked in his mind…Spider was taller, and leaner, and cooler. He was wearing a black-and-scarlet leather jacket, and black leather leggings, and he looked at home in them…There was something larger-than-life about him: simply being on the other side of the table to this man made Fat Charlie feel awkward and badly consructed, and slightly foolish. It wasn’t the clothes Spider wore, but the knowledge that if Fat Charlie put them on he would look as if he were wearing some kind of unconvincing drag. It wasn’t the way Spider smiled–casually, delightedly–but Fat Charlies’s cold, incontrovertible certainty that he himself could practice smiling in front of a mirror from now until the end of time and never manage a single smile one half so charming, so cocky, or so twinklingly debonair.

    White ginger, artemesia, vetiver, nutmeg, King mandarin, bergamot, and lime.

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  • The Blood Must Flow

    “It is only a gesture,” he said, turning back to Shadow. “But gestures mean everything. The death of one dog symbolizes the death of all dogs. Nine men they gave to me, but they stood for all the men, all the blood, all the power. It just wasn’t enough. One day, the blood stopped flowing. Belief without blood only takes us so far. The blood must flow.”

    “I saw you die,” said Shadow.

    “In the god business,” said the figure—and now Shadow was certain it was Wednesday, nobody else had that rasp, that deep cynical joy in words, “it’s not the death that matters. It’s the opportunity for resurrection. And when the blood flows . . .”

    Three days on the tree, three days in the underworld, three days to find your way back: ash, oak, and elm; vetiver, dragon’s blood resin, and cypress; frankincense, copal, and chamomile.

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  • The Drunkard’s Dream

    The drunk in the graveyard raised his bottle to his lips. One of the gravestones flipped over, revealing a grasping corpse; a headstone turned around, flowers replaced by a grinning skull. A wraith appeared on the right of the church, while on the left of the church something with a half-glimpsed, pointed, unsettlingly birdlike face, a pale, Boschian nightmare, glided smoothly from a headstone into the shadows and was gone. Then the church door opened, a priest came out, and the ghosts, haunts, and corpses vanished, and only the priest and the drunk were left alone in the graveyard. The priest looked down at the drunk disdainfully, and backed through the open door, which closed behind him, leaving the drunk on his own.

    The clockwork story was deeply unsettling. Much more unsettling, thought Shadow, than clockwork has any right to be.

    “You know why I show that to you?” asked Czernobog.

    “No.”

    “That is the world as it is. That is the real world. It is there, in that box.”

    Red currant and labdanum with opoponax, vetiver, grave moss, white sandalwood, and khus.

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  • The Emperor’s Armor

    Power does not corrupt. Fear corrupts.
    – John Steinbeck

    A talisman against fear: Roman chamomile, frankincense, ylang ylang, vetiver, and Italian bergamot.

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  • The Harlequin

    The Divine Comedian, the Eternal Jester, instructing through pranks and buffoonery:  vetiver-steeped raspberry and red currant.

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  • The Harpy Celaeno

    The unicorn began to walk toward the harpy’s cage. Schmendrick the Magician, tiny and pale, kept opening and closing his mouth at her, and she knew what he was shrieking, though she could not hear him. “She will kill you, she will kill you! Run, you fool, while she’s still a prisoner! She will kill you if you set her free!” But the unicorn walked on, following the light of her horn, until she stood before Celaeno, the Dark One.

    For an instant the icy wings hung silent in the air, like clouds, and the harpy’s old yellow eyes sank into the unicorn’s heart and drew her close. “I will kill you if you set me free,” the eyes said. “Set me free.” 

    The unicorn lowered her head until her horn touched the lock of the harpy’s cage. The door did not swing open, and the iron bars did not thaw into starlight. But the harpy lifted her wings, and the four sides of the cage fell slowly away and down, like the petals of some great flower waking at night. And out of the wreckage the harpy bloomed, terrible and free, screaming, her hair swinging like a sword. The moon withered and fled. 

    The unicorn heard herself cry out, not in terror but in wonder, “Oh, you are like me!” She reared joyously to meet the harpy’s stoop, and her horn leaped up into the wicked wind. The harpy struck once, missed, and swung away, her wings clanging and her breath warm and stinking. She burned overhead, and the unicorn saw herself reflected on the harpy’s bronze breast and felt the monster shining from her own body. So they circled one another like a double star, and under the shrunken sky there was nothing real but the two of them. The harpy laughed with delight, and her eyes turned the color of honey. The unicorn knew that she was going to strike again. 

    Clanging metal, smouldering hatred, and terror: vetiver, myrrh, patchouli, tolu balsam, black clove, bergamot, orange flower, and horseradish.

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  • The Moon Goddess

    Virgin, huntress, witch, holding the mysteries and powers of womanhood between her palms: vetiver, white pine,  hay, Sicilian lemon, leather, and agarwood.

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  • The Naturally Possible and Impossible

    This has occurred in my presence on four occasions in darkness. The test conditions under which they took place were quite satisfactory, so far as the judgment was concerned; but ocular demonstration of such a fact is so necessary to disturb our pre-formed opinions as to “the naturally possible and impossible,” that I will here only mention cases in which the deductions of reason were confirmed by the sense of sight.

    On one occasion I witnessed a chair, with a lady sitting on it, rise several inches from the ground. On another occasion, to avoid the suspicion of this being in some way performed by herself, the lady knelt on the chair in such a manner that its four feet were visible to us. It then rose about three inches, remained suspended for about ten seconds, and then slowly descended. At another time two children, on separate occasions, rose from the floor with their chairs, in full daylight, under (to me) most satisfactory conditions; for I was kneeling and keeping close watch upon the feet of the chair, and observing that no one might touch them.

    The most striking cases of levitation which I have witnessed have been with Mr. Home, on three separate occasions have I seen him raised completely from the floor of the room. Once sitting in an easy chair, once kneeling on his chair, and once standing up. On each occasion I had full opportunity of watching the occurrence as it was taking place.

    There are at least a hundred recorded instances of Mr. Home’s rising from the ground, in the presence of as many separate persons, and I have heard from the lips of the three witnesses to the most striking occurrence of this kind – the Earl of Dunraven, Lord Lindsay, and Captain C. Wynne – their own most minute accounts of what took place. To reject the recorded evidence on this subject is to reject all human testimony whatever; for no fact in sacred or profane history is supported by a stronger array of proofs

    The accumulated testimony establishing Mr. Homes levitations is overwhelming. It is greatly to be desired that some person, whose evidence would be accepted as conclusive by the scientific world – if indeed there lives a person whose testimony in favour of such phenomena would be taken – would seriously and patiently examine the alleged facts. Most of the eyewitnesses to these levitations are now living, and would, doubtless, be willing to give their evidence. But, in a few years, such direct evidence will be difficult, if not impossible, to be obtained.

    – Notes of an Enquiry into the Phenomena called Spiritual during the years 1870-1873, William Crookes

    Well-worn leather, bay rum, vetiver, cigar smoke, and amber oudh.

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  • The Other Mother’s Right Hand

    Coraline opened the front door and looked at the gray sky. She wondered how long it would be until the sun came up, wondered whether her dream had been a true thing while knowing in her heart that it had been. Something she had taken to be part of the shadows under the hall couch detached itself from beneath the couch and made a mad, scrabbling rush on its long white legs, heading for the front door.

    Coraline’s mouth dropped open in horror and she stepped out of the way as the thing clicked and scuttled past her and out of the house, running crablike on its too-many tapping, clicking, scurrying feet.

    She knew what it was, and she knew what it was after. She had seen it too many times in the last few days, reaching and clutching and snatching and popping blackbeetles obediently into the other mother’s mouth. Five-footed, crimson-nailed, the color of bone.

    It was the other mother’s right hand.

    It wanted the black key.

    A scrabbling, skittering, clacking scent: white as bone, black as a beetle, and red as blood – orris root, vetiver, and daemonorops.

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  • The Pearl in the Volcano

    Rice milk, warm myrrh, red currant, red amber cream, and a trickle of vetiver.

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  • The Potter’s Field

    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.

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  • The Precipice

    The Leap of Faith or the Apex of Irresponsibility. One foot remains precariously touching the earth, the other hovers towards enlightenment or oblivion.

    Green tea, neroli, and osmanthus, patchouli root, Spanish moss, tobacco absolute, and vetiver.

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  • The Red Death

    The “Red Death” had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal –the redness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress and termination of the disease, were the incidents of half an hour.

    Splatters of red musk, bruise-purple violets, vetiver, and pimento.

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  • The Scales of Deprivation

    And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.

    Thin, dark, and shadowed. A scent that offers no sustenance, comfort or satiety: lemon peel, white sage, frankincense, lavender fougere, sandalwood, vetiver and labdanum.

    And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

    And when he had opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth beast say, Come and see. 

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  • The Scarlet Horror

    In an assembly of phantasms such as I have painted, it may well be supposed that no ordinary appearance could have excited such sensation. In truth the masquerade license of the night was nearly unlimited; but the figure in question had out-Heroded Herod, and gone beyond the bounds of even the prince’s indefinite decorum. There are chords in the hearts of the most reckless which cannot be touched without emotion. Even with the utterly lost, to whom life and death are equally jests, there are matters of which no jest can be made. The whole company, indeed, seemed now deeply to feel that in the costume and bearing of the stranger neither wit nor propriety existed. The figure was tall and gaunt, and shrouded from head to foot in the habiliments of the grave. The mask which concealed the visage was made so nearly to resemble the countenance of a stiffened corpse that the closest scrutiny must have had difficulty in detecting the cheat. And yet all this might have been endured, if not approved, by the mad revellers around. But the mummer had gone so far as to assume the type of the Red Death. His vesture was dabbled in blood –and his broad brow, with all the features of the face, was besprinkled with the scarlet horror.

    When the eyes of Prince Prospero fell upon this spectral image (which with a slow and solemn movement, as if more fully to sustain its role, stalked to and fro among the waltzers) he was seen to be convulsed, in the first moment with a strong shudder either of terror or distaste; but, in the next, his brow reddened with rage.

    “Who dares?” he demanded hoarsely of the courtiers who stood near him — “who dares insult us with this blasphemous mockery? Seize him and unmask him — that we may know whom we have to hang at sunrise, from the battlements!”

    Blasphemous mockery: blood musk and vetiver.

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  • The Shield

    In some interpretations, her shield bears the eagle of dominion, in others, it is emblazoned with the symbol of the planet Venus. The sovereignty of love, the protection and succor of a benevolent mother-queen: white patchouli and helichrysum with blackcurrant, white sage, praline, vetiver, and orris root.

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  • The Stormhold

    The Stormhold had been carved out of the peak of Mount Huon by the first lord of Stormhold, who reigned at the end of the First Age and into the beginning of the Second. It had been expanded, improved upon, excavated and tunneled into by successive Masters of Stormhold, until the original mountain peak now raked the sky like the ornately carved tusk of some great, grey, granite beast. The Stormhold itself was perched high in the sky, where the thunder clouds gathered before they went down to the lower air, spilling rain and lightning and devastation upon the place beneath.

    Creeping moss, slick granite, murky vetiver, lightning-charged ozone, and icy rain.

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  • The Witches’ Ride

    Otto Goetze

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

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  • Tombeur

    There are two types of vampires that humans, and often other vampires, need to be wary of: the Interfectors and the Tombeur.

    The Tombeur, are much more complex in their hunting habits and their perceptions than their Interfector cousins. Like the Interfectors, they perceive their vampirism to be an initiation into a higher state of being and relegate humans to base foodstuffs. Unlike the Interfectors, however, the Tombeur are not straightforward predators, and there is a secondary purpose to their hunt: sexual gratification. They take full advantage of their saliva’s hypnotic and psychotropic effects on humans, the mystique that surrounds vampires, the seemingly unnatural attraction some humans have toward vampires, and the potency of the Tombeurs’ own sexual drive to lure humans into complex carnal relationships that culminate in feeding. They are consummate seducers, and some Tombeur feed, completely and terminally, on their conquests, while others create henchmen that are little more than sex slaves. Neither fate is something we would recommend to any of our readers.

    Deadly and seductive: vanilla-infused sandalwood, blood musk, antique patchouli, vetiver, lavender, bitter almond, amber, and a trickle of Snake Oil.

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  • Troll

    They call me Troll;
    Gnawer of the Moon,
    Giant of the Gale-blasts,
    Curse of the rain-hall,
    Companion of the Sibyl,
    Nightroaming hag,
    Swallower of the loaf of heaven.
    What is a Troll but that?

    A lurching, hateful, bitter scent. This is a gruesome blend of ghastly greens and blacks: vetiver, pine pitch, troll musk, black basil, clove smoke, and scorched cumin.

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  • Umbra – Resurrected

    The deepest, darkest point in a shadow; the area contained within the shadow of an eclipse. East African black patchouli, cedarwood, vetiver and a dribble of cinnamon.

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  • Voodoo

    A midnight scent, evoking images of flickering golden firelight reflecting off the sheen of glistening skin and the jerking shadows of bodies suffused with spiritual ecstasy. A deep, powerful, resonant blend of myrrh, patchouli, vetiver, lime, vanilla, pine, almond and clove.

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  • Wulric, The Wolfman

    A lively tune is being played nearby; it is syncopated, a disjointed song, but perky and upbeat. As you turn to the next stage, you see the broad back and shaggy hair of the next performer. He is seated on a stool in front of a battered upright piano. Wire pokes out from holes in the back of the decrepit beechwood, and broken pinblocks are scattered on the floor. A bowl of glistening viscera has been plopped on a small end table next to the pianist. You can see that the ivory keys of the piano are smeared with blood. He pounds and tinkles the keys merrily, and laughs to himself. The man turns to the audience, and his unkempt russet hair, feral yellow eyes, wild balbo, and chin curtain beard betray his lycanthropic nature. He smiles widely, innocently, and waves his red-stained, black-clawed paw in a genial welcome. He bellows cheerfully, “Hi there! Make yourself comfortable! Don’t you look absolutely necrolishious! HA! HAHA! I just made that word up!” He laughs again, turns, and resumes playing the piano. The rambling tune picks up pace, and he plays with a showman’s flourish. The song slows as he chats with the audience from over his shoulder. “You know, my ex-girlfriend was a real handful, but really… I’ve never known a woman that was as tender as she was. She was all gushy, and well… to be honest, she just fell to pieces for me. Eventually, things ran their course… three courses, really… and, as they say, nothing lasts forever. But I’ll always have a piece of her, here… close to my heart.” He chuckles, and pats the chest of his patchwork overcoat.

    In the distance, possibly from Meskhenet’s stage, you hear one of the phantom musicians give Wulric a gratuitous rim shot.

    Friendly, charming, and cuddly, but possessing one hell of a mean streak: cocoa absolute, French vanilla, birch tar, lavender, bourbon vetiver, wild musk, cardamom husk, clary sage, and cistus.

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  • Yule Cat

    The Yule Cat is a gargantuan Icelandic feline that feasts on indolent people who shirk their community responsibilities. Don’t be lazy! – idle hands make for a very unpleasant Yule!

    Malevolent musk, a drop of infernal civet, vetiver, club moss, birch, goosefoot, and rowan.

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  • Yurei

    The most fearsome of Kaidan’s conjured warriors, his sword can shear through anything — or anyone.

    White tea, hibiscus, Arabian sandalwood, white amber, ho leaf, pale Japanese flowers, and vetiver.

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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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