White pear and absinthe, sea moss and patchouli, labdanum and crushed coral.
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A Pantomime of Deviltry and Debauch in Seven Acts
PERFUME OIL BLENDS
Presented in an amber apothecary vial.
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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.
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.
Smoldering coals heat the device from below, and steam hisses through two curved pipes, rotating the shining brass sphere.
Glowing amber and citrus, labdanum, verbena, cedar, and oud.
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.
“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.