The hollow vein that contains blood from the arms and head. A perfume of thought and action: blood chypre, ambergris accord, beeswax, oppoponax, tuberose absolute, and red musk.
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On a rocky mountain pass, on the southernmost slopes of Mount Belly, the witch-queen reined in her goat-drawn chariot and stopped and sniffed the chilly air.
The myriad stars hung cold in the sky above her.
Her red, red lips curved up into a smile of such beauty, such brilliance, such pure and perfect happiness that it would have frozen your blood in your veins to have seen it. “There,” she said. “She is coming to me.”
And the wind of the mountain pass howled about her triumphantly, as if in answer.
Wild plum, red musk, tuberose, calla lily, heliotrope, pimento, ylang ylang and beeswax beneath a dark haze of sinister purple-hued incense smoke.
Piss off, Saint Valentine! Lupercalia is an ancient Roman celebration, held on February 15th, that kicked in the advent of Spring with a very, very festive purification, fertility and sexuality ritual. The ritual began near the cave of Lupercal on the Palatine, an area sacred to Faunus, as well as Ruminia, Romulus and Remus. During Lupercalia, Vestal Virgins first made offerings of sacred cakes to the fig tree under which the she-wolf suckled the Sacred Twins. A dog and two goats were then offered in sacrifice to Faunus. The blood of the sacrifice was smeared onto two naked patrician youths, who were assisted by the Virgins, and the blood was wiped clean with sacred wool dipped in milk. The youths donned the skins of the sacrificial goats, wielding whips made from the goat skins, and then led the priests and the Virgins around the pomarium, and around the base hills of Rome. This was a ceremony of great happiness and merriment, and was of particular interest to young women: being touched by the goat-whips young men that led the procession ensured their fertility in the coming year. It is believed that, after the initial rite, male participants would draw the name of an available maiden, with whom he spent the rest of the night. This scent is for the Luperci, the Chosen of Faunus, the Brothers of the Wolf: raw, down and dirty patchouli, Gurjam balsam, and essence of Sampson Root sweetened with the heightened sexuality of beeswax, virile juniper, oakmoss, ambrette seed over honey and East African musk.
And where should the living feel alive
But here in this wan white humming hive,
As the moon wastes down, and the dawn turns cold,
And one by one they creep back to the fold?
And where should a man hold his mate and say:
“One more, one more, ere we go their way”?
For the year’s on the turn, and it’s All Souls’ night,
When the living can learn by the churchyard light.
White patchouli leaf, beeswax, ambergris, and pale incense.
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.
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