So after TROLLCAT decided Mowm needed naps for her own good, he decided to play a Klingon©, and here I am hiding in my wardrobe trying to write another. Guess who found me and guess who is no longer used to sleeping sitting up? Yup.
Many apologies from me for those who saw the earlier version of this. TROLLCAT of course, makes no such apologies, but is forgiven anyway because of cuteness, right?
++ ACT 3: FIAT NOX: The 13-in-1
Before you stands a tent, striped in orange and black canvas. The tent seems impossibly large; its tattered black banners snap in the chill wind. The Carny Talker slaps his cane upon a bare spot on the canvas wall, and a huge golden mouth bursts forth from the fabric forming a gleaming fanged entryway illuminated by flashing white bulbs. An ornate sign unfurls above the doorway, and in a florid script it reads, “The Parliament of Monsters”. The Carny Talker grins at you malevolently, gestures at the gaping maw with his cane, and barks, “Step this way, my friends! Through this doorway you will find the most magnificent and mind-shattering marvels of the multiverse! Each and every one of these fantastic and fearsome freaks has committed their spirit, nay! — their very soul! — to an unlife of unrepentant sin and unwholesome debauchery! Not simply a common display of human and inhuman oddities, these are both the shunned and misbegotten children of nature, and those whose very visages show that they have willingly and – YES, eagerly! — walked the crooked path of turpitude! Their sins ARE their salvations, as you shall soon see, my friends, and these marvelous monstrosities present the tapestry of their depravity to you in all of its ghastly glory and sinister splendor! EACH is a Prometheus of perversity! THIS, and THIS ALONE, is the finest display of decadence and depredation in all the hells! Yours, for your education and elucidation, for a nominal entrance fee…”
He tips his hat, grins, and steps aside, gesturing for you to enter.
The Parliament of Monsters
You pass through the golden mouth, and find yourself inside a narrow, cramped corridor. Large wooden paintings of skeletal hands crook their bony fingers, leading you forwards. At the first turn, you hear a bizarre jumble of sounds: the high-pitched sound of gears grinding, metal on metal, the sound of sultry, low-pitched laughter, a clattering, wings flapping, soft hissing. Suddenly, a sharp howl pierces the darkness. As you make your way around the corner you are momentarily blinded as floodlights flicker to life, and thirteen gold-gilded stages are illuminated, bathed from beneath in sinister, caramel-colored light.
Dust, incense, wet tobacco, singed straw, and a curl of opium smoke.
In the Bottle: Smokey, Dusty Incense. Tobacco is sweet.
On me: Opium, Sweet Tobacco, incense. Very nice.
You move towards the first stage on your right, and as you walk, you feel something brush across your cheek. Something about the softness of the phantom caress makes your skin crawl, and you flinch involuntarily. At that moment, the Spider Girl strides haughtily onto the platform, her stiletto heels clicking a strange staccato as she walks. Her body is wrapped in skin-tight strips of black PVC, and the gleaming vinyl glistens in stark contrast to the alabaster skin on her six pale, white arms. She gestures to the rafters above with a graceful flick of her blood-red nails. In dread, your eyes are drawn skyward: above her, in a gossamer snare, web-shrouded bodies twist and struggle.
A swirling, hypnotic perfume of black currant, poppy, red and black musk, lilies, nicotiana, tobacco tar, and patchouli.
In the Bottle: Dirty weedy tobacco with a bouquet of lilies and poppies, and a musky tinged Creme de Cassis.
On me: I know this one will be amazing aged, but fresh patchouli is so weedy on me. After about an hour, it faded into the background as the familiar earthy note I adore, and the florals blended with the currants and a skin-tight musk that’s flirting with a humidor of fine tobacco.
I’m going to try this again after it ages. I had a similar issue with Sweet Williams Ghost, and now it smells amazing, so it just needs some alone time.
Aged two years: It has aged gloriously, and is such a perfectly dark, gothic scent. It gets darker the longer it ages.
Moving counter-clockwise through the room, you come upon the next stage. The backdrop is shredded, and seems to have been torn in a fury. On the remaining half of the canvas, you can barely make out a faded illustration of the sun setting over a pyramid. On the center of the platform, an elaborate golden sarcophagus has been set upright and propped up towards the edge of the stage. Beside it, upon the ground, sits a hooded lantern. A woman’s image is painted on the front of the sarcophagus, and upon the gold limned body, a tale is being told in hieroglyphics: scenes of murder, carnage, and grotesque, mad passion. Although you do not know the language, the inscription upon the tomb translates within your mind, and the words burn behind your eyes as if they were written in blood and fire: “The Guardian will never part the veil for her soul. Mighty Sutekh, have pity on us all.” A thin, dark-skinned man wearing a linen loincloth climbs onto the stage. His form is frail and withered, he is impossibly old, yet his long, straight hair is as black as the night skies. With solemn, reverential gravity, he slowly moves the casket lid aside. Within the box, you see a skeletal figure wrapped in stained, ragged cloths, draped in a mauve cloth. The dark-skinned man bends low, and lights the lanterna magica. From within the glass, images begin to form, and glowing alchemical symbols cast their eerie light onto the mummy. As the lights touch the creature, the desiccated body swells, and with horrific, agonizing slowness, a woman’s form begins to appear within the wrappings. At her chest, the rotted wrappings burst, exposing sinew and the glinting white bones of her ribs. Her hands reach towards her face, and with a screech of agony and eons-long rage, she tears the gauze from her glittering black eyes.
The perfume of life-in-death: embalming herbs, black myrrh, white sandalwood, black orchid, paperwhites, olive blossom, tomb dust, and Moroccan jasmine.
In the Bottle: Whoo boy! It’s potent. Jasmine is the prominent note, almost drowning out everything. High and sweet, wrapping itself up closer than life is the Orchid and other florals. A bare whiff of the dark herbs and resins and woods.
On Me: Well, it’s interesting…
Eshe is an in-your-face floral. At rest, it’s real subtle and close to the skin. Any exercise, and it jumps back at me like, “Hey Girl! Let’s hang out!” like when freshly applied.
It is a vision. It stays skin-close on drying, but any amount of warmth and well, I’m sure you’ll smell it.
On the drydown, the herbs, dust, myrrh, and sandalwood notes cover the florals like thick, gauzy wrappings without obscuring them.
It’s a heady, exotic floral with a sinister, dark twist like so many of the other Carnaval Diabolique scents.
Aged it’s very lovely.
Next up, Faiza and her scaly Companions.
**Indulgent scents were acquired from Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab, all artwork shown here by Julie Dillon for their collection**