Wood

  • ‘Tis the Voice of the Lobster

    ‘Tis the voice of the Lobster: I heard him declare
    ‘You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair.’
    As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose
    Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.
    When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark,
    And will talk in contemptuous tones of the shark;
    But, when the tide rises and sharks are around,
    His voice has a timid and tremulous sound.

    I passed by his garden and marked, with one eye,
    How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie:
    The Panther took pie-crust, and gravy, and meat,
    While the Owl had the dish as its share of the treat.
    When the pie was all finished, the Owl, as a boon,
    Was kindly permitted to pocket the spoon:
    While the Panther received knife and fork with a growl,
    And concluded the banquet by —

    A woody, musky-weird base glooping over with blackberry preserves, a twist of mandarin, strawberry juice, pulverized watermelon, and a handful of smushed gardenia petals.

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  • 51

    Luminescent, glowing, and otherworldly: green mandarin, neroli, honeydew, white amber, guava, freesia, white and green musks hovering over desert scrub, smashed wood, and the dry, biting scent of night air over the Groom Lake salt flats.

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  • Adam

    Adam, our suicidally romantic scoundrel. His scent is a palette of somber colors, melancholy memories, and lupine, savage beauty: black leather, pale sandalwood, ambergris accord, and the memory of a long-lost Victorian fougère. His internal life seems to be reflected in his lair, so his perfume also possesses the scent of the wood of his guitars, the rosin from his violin bow, the musty wool of neglected Oriental carpets, the plastic, metal, and magnetic tape of his reel-to-reel, the dust that permeates everything.

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  • Alviss

    The peculiar-looking man was of average height, but of an odd shape: Shadow had heard of men who were barrel-chested before, but had no image to accompany the metaphor. This man was barrel-chested, and he had legs like, yes, like tree trunks, and hands like, exactly, ham hocks. He wore a black parka with a hood, several sweaters, thick dungarees, and, incongruously, in the winter and with those clothes, a pair of white tennis shoes, which were the same size and shape as shoeboxes. His fingers resembled sausages, with flat, squared-off fingertips.

    “That’s some hum you got,” said Shadow from the driver’s seat.

    “Sorry,” said the peculiar young man, in a deep, deep voice, embarrassed. He stopped humming.

    “No, I enjoyed it,” said Shadow. “Don’t stop.”

    The peculiar young man hesitated, then commenced to hum once more, his voice as deep and reverberant as before. This time there were words interspersed in the humming. “Down down down,” he sang, so deeply that the windows rattled. “Down down down, down down, down down.”

    Thick, tangled, and strong: ash and oak, elm and pine, reaching down, down, and deeper down into earth.

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  • Bard

    A ridiculously charismatic blend of bay rum, honey, and white musk mingling with the scent of harp wood and lute strings and the twang of horn brass.

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  • Imp Pack: Woody

    —Antikythera Mechanism
    —The Forest Reverie
    —Incantation
    —Azathoth
    —Dee
    —Yggdrasil

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  • Incantation

    Though thy slumber may be deep,
    Yet thy spirit shall not sleep;
    There are shades which will not vanish,
    There are thoughts thou canst not banish;
    By a power to thee unknown,
    Thou canst never be alone;
    Thou art wrapt as with a shroud,
    Thou art gather’d in a cloud;
    And for ever shalt thou dwell
    In the spirit of this spell.

    A profound and entrancing potion. Deep, wispy, and unfathomably dark: vetiver, dark woods, crumbling and burnt black sandalwood and a drop of lemon rind.

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  • Interfector

    There are two types of vampires that humans, and often other vampires, need to be wary of: the Interfectors and the Tombeur. The Interfectors are ruthless killers, ultimate hunters who view humans as livestock. They are brutal, but not necessarily cruel, and rarely toy with their prey. Universally, Interfectors perceive their transition into the vampiric state to be an initiation into a higher state of being, not transcendent or spiritual in nature, but rather a promotion to the top of the food chain.

    Ruthless, unfeeling, and inhumanly violent: tobacco, sharp woods, frankincense, and bunn.

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  • Intrigue

    A sultry, exotic scent that inspires devious plotting and clandestine affairs. It is a scent painted in artifice, veiled in deceit, and slithering with whispered secrets. Black palm, with cocoa, fig and shadowy wooded notes.

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  • Jolly Roger

    Sea spray with an undercurrent of leather, Bay Rum, and salty, dry woods.

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  • Mouse Circus

    In the flat above Coraline’s, under the roof, was a crazy old man with a big mustache. He told Coraline that he was training a mouse circus. He wouldn’t let anyone see it.

    “One day, little Caroline, when they are all ready, everyone in the whole world will see the wonders of my mouse circus. You ask me why you cannot see it now. Is that what you asked me?”

    “No,” said Coraline quietly, “I asked you not to call me Caroline. It’s Coraline.”

    “The reason you cannot see the mouse circus,” said the man upstairs, “is that the mice are not yet ready and rehearsed. Also, they refuse to play the songs I have written for them. All the songs I have written for the mice to play go oompah oompah. But the white mice will only play toodle oodle, like that. I am thinking of trying them on different types of cheese.”

    A toodle oodle of pink cotton candy noses, vanilla spun sugar fur, scattered kernels of popcorn, and a touch of polished golden wood.

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  • Red Queen

    Deep mahogany and rich, velvety woods lacquered with sweet, black-red cherries and currant.

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  • Strangler Fig

    A glorious parasite! Once the seeds of the Strangler Fig find root in the bark of a tree, snakelike roots erupt and reach graspingly at the sky. The Strangler Fig then sprouts numerous epiphytic vines that strangles and surrounds its unwilling host, and finally snuffs the life from it. Rooty, woody, with deep green tones.

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  • The Floating Market

    It was loud, and brash, and insane, and it was, in many ways, quite wonderful. People argued, haggled, shouted, sang. They hawked and touted their wares, and loudly declaimed the superiority of their merchandise. Music was playing—a dozen different kinds of music, being played a dozen different ways on a score of different instruments, most of them improvised, improved, improbable. Richard could smell food. All kinds of food—the smells of curries and spices seemed to predominate, with, beneath them, the smells of grilling meats and mushrooms. Stalls had been set up all throughout the shop, next to or even on, counters that, during the day, had sold perfume, or watches, or amber, or silk scarves.

    A cacophony of curious scents: copaiba balsam, petitgrain, citrus rind, sinicuichi accord, betel nut, wasabi root, coconut palm, and wattleseed layered atop innumerable strange herbs, spices, and woods.

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  • The Magician

    Wood and copper mimicking life, dressed in a gentleman’s cologne. An elegant automaton wonder built to fascinate.

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  • The Norns’ Farmhouse

    The farmhouse was dark and shut up. The meadows were overgrown and seemed abandoned. The farm roof was crumbling at the back; it was covered in black plastic sheeting. They jolted over a ridge and Shadow saw it there.

    It was silver-gray and it was higher than the farm-house. It was the most beautiful tree Shadow had ever seen: spectral and yet utterly real and almost perfectly symmetrical. It also looked instantly familiar: he wondered if he had dreamed it, then he realized that no, he had seen it before, or a representation of it man, many times. It was Wednesday’s silver tie pin.

    The VW bus jolted and bumped across the meadow, and it came to a stop about twenty feet from the trunk of the tree.

    There were three women standing by the tree. At first glance Shadow thought they were the Zorya, but no, they were three women he did not know. They looked tired and bored, as if they had been standing there a long time. Each of them held a wooden ladder. The biggest also carried a brown sack. They looked like a set of Russian dolls: a tall one – she was Shadow’s height, or even taller – a middle-sized one, and a woman so short and hunched that at first glance Shadow wrongly supposed her to be a child. They looked so much alike that Shadow was certain the women must be sisters.

    The smallest of the women dropped to a curtsey when the bus drew up. The other two just stared. They were sharing a cigarette, and they smoked it down to the filter before one of them stubbed it out against a root.

    Dusty, ancient wood, horehound, and sage, with viper’s bugloss, mugwort, chamomile, nettle, apple blossom, chervil, and ashes.

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  • The Storyteller

    The Raconteur, the Town Gossip, and the first character to appear on the stage in the first act. He is the Minstrel of the Heavens, the Devil’s Messenger, spinning morality tales, singing songs of loss, laughter, and triumph, and murmuring prophecies to all.

    Beeswax, leather, hearth wood, and campfire smoke.

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  • Transeo

    The Transeo are vampires that have assimilated into human society, often reaching positions of power. Among the Transeo there are many celebrated politicians, scientists, businessmen, philosophers, artists, writers, and musicians, and, surprisingly, a large number of influential clergy and militarists. Not every Transeo is an illustrious public figure; many simply desire the comforts associated with reentering society. In the past, most Transeo posed as humans as best they could, concealing their true natures. In the twenty-first century, more and more Transeo are coming out in the open, and they form the backbone of most vampire-acceptance movements.

    GA cologne that (almost) blends well into human society: benzoin, orange blossom, cumin, King mandarin, gaiac wood, juniper berry, Calabrian bergamot, Ceylon cinnamon, and blood camouflaged by wine.

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