TROLLCAT is too cute, being all fluffy and distracting, but still I press on!
++ ACT 2: FIAT NOX
A surge of warm, dark bodies buoys you along, pulling you past the crowded, candle-lit entrances to innumerable tents striped in bone white, blood red, pumpkin orange and twilight violet canvas. Through the shadows cast by the gaslamps and swinging red lanterns, you move through the ghoulish entertainment.
Mme. Moriarty, Misfortune-Teller
A colorless woman bursts from an elaborate gold and ruby tent and faints dead at your feet. Soft laughter emits from the dark entrance to the tent, and the scent of musk, black fruits and incense touches your senses. Looking up, you see that the sign hovering above the unconscious woman is adorned with images of the Major Arcana’s Tower and reads:
“Mme. Moriarty, Misfortune Teller.
No fate too grim, no future too bleak.”
A tiny woman with floor-length black dreadlocks walks out of the tent, stepping over the prone body. She is clothed in deep red wrappings, and is bedecked in golden ornaments bearing alchemical symbols and charms representing eternity, chance, and wisdom. She pauses, looks you over slowly, and then flicks a tarot card at your feet.
Red musk, vanilla bean, pomegranate, black currant, patchouli leaf and wild plum.
In the Bottle: Boozy Plum and Currant Liqueurs swirled into Pomegranate juice.
On Me: The Musk and Patchouli create this bizarre almost incense-like concoction, and the fruity, boozy nature of the Vanilla, Currant, Pomegranate, and Plum make it absolutely intoxicating.
The Organ Grinder
A handsome, dark-skinned man weaves and dances his way through the crowd. Veves have been burned into the face of his old acoustic guitar, which he strums casually as he strolls though the crowd. A winged Capuchin monkey is balanced on his shoulder, holding out a rusty metal cup. The guitar player’s melancholy chords begin to mingle strangely with a cacophonous jangling sound. The discordant symphony grows and swells as he moves toward a cloaked and hooded figure; this spectre’s skeletal hands operate a dilapidated barrel organ that stands at a crossroads in the midway. As they come together, the music hits a nightmarish crescendo; your heart heaves with longings unfulfilled, your vision swims, and your head is filled with whispered incantations and gallows secrets. In that instant, you suddenly understand the profundity of deals made in Heaven and Hell, and the price of desire.
Almond milk, sarsaparilla, tobacco smoke, High John the Conqueror root, coconut hull, black patchouli and white pine bark.
In the Bottle: Earthy Coconut, Sweet Almonds, and a hint of smoke.
On Me: The smell of an Orchestra Hall filled with expensive antique stringed instruments. Hints of faraway destinations.
Pulcinella & Teresina
Your eyes are drawn to a gilded miniature stage whose sign reads: “All Praises to the Lord of Misrule!” Upon the platform, a sneering wooden jester waltzes with a hollow-eyed and bleeding wooden maiden, while a wooden devil floats above them.
Labdanum, cedar, teak and red rose.
In the Bottle: Roses and dried roses, and rosewood.
On Me: Very dark, rich incense and expensive Woods, and as it warms, a very lightly spicy Rose. It’s gorgeous.
Behind the diminutive stage, the puppet mistress stands, a pale and grinning Professor, the Lady of Chaos. Her hands are tangled in web-like strings; a swazzle peeks through her violet lips. Behind her, you see a wavering image, with all the vague haziness of a mirage: a leaping coyote, a flame-haired and scarred Norseman, a glittering golden spider, a laughing monkey, a leering satyr, a shadowy flutist, and an African youth dressed in black and red.
Jasmine sambac, dark musk, violet water, vanilla bean and mimosa.
In the Bottle: Saccharine sweet and flowery. So little girly.
On me: Holy ferret balls! This is hella sexy. I’ve never had musk and Vanilla be anything but Nasty stinky get-it-off-me-now on me. The difference between hand-blended and factory produced has never been more clear.
Jasmine is always sexy, and this is a high quality enfleurage. The Violets hint at a sweetness.
It fits the sinister evil of the Carnival freakshow themes going from innocent to sultry.
**Indulgent treats by Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, art by Julie Dillon, reviews by me.**