– a conversation with the Devil
Dev was waiting for me when I came home this afternoon feeling rather frazzled. Cool as anything, he pulled up a chair next to my desk and nodded toward a small black box.
“You know we have some work to do here, right?” He tipped back his chair against the wall.
“Dude, I’m wiped. Toast. I’ve had a monthful of days. I need a vacation.”
“I know. You need better excuses. Later, baby.”
“You would say that.”
“I’m a fictional character, I can say whatever I please. And I say we have some samples to look at.”
“So you’re saying that Doc Elly took the bait?”
“Sink, line, bait and hook. This will be a hit. She can smell it, too. Open up the box.”
“Yes, Master.” Inside nestled neatly labeled small test vials of six different frankincense extracts, steam-distilled and CO2, four kinds of labdanum, and four other essences best described as “Hazardous To Your Fevered Imagination”.
I dug out my sample blotters. “Where do you want to start?”
“Hmm.” First, he stuck his entire nose in the box and breathed it in. “Holy…no, I can’t say that on a perfume blog. And you can’t write that, either. This is potent stuff.” He reached out for a vial labeled ‘labdanum absolute’. “Sexy! You were looking for a whiff of goat, right?”
“That’s the idea. Well, you know…it’s the animal thing. You’ve got to have a little…animal in there. You are.” I cast my beady, bleary eyes at those frankincense vials.
“Not nearly so much as you.”
“Shut up. I know I’m a 130 lb chimp with a bad attitude, OK? Dude, we’ve got a perfume to make.”
“So we do.” He tipped a drop or two of Boswellia sacra and serrata onto the blotting paper and waved it under his nose. “Ummm…it needs something.” Labdanum, a touch of CO2, and a mystery labeled with a name followed by ‘Givaudan’. “I hate having to watch my language, but…oh, yeah. This is great. This is sinful.” He dug into the box. “Here’s another Ingredient X. I was excited about this one, but it’s not what I expected.” He added a drop of it and jiggled it under my nose. “So whaddaya think?”
“I think I need coffee, is what.” That frankincense was so…relaxing. I’d curl up under that desert tree any day.
“Get a grip. We have work to do.” The most incredible aroma was wafting around the room. He added a little oud. “Needs more goat.” He pulled out a vial. “Not enough. There’s labdanum and frankincense in a catfight on that blotter, and I can’t tell which one is winning.”
“My money is on the labdanum.”
“It would be. You can’t get enough of that stuff.”
“Hush. You like it, too.” I added Boswellia neglecta. “Oh, baby. I just hit the oh-zone layer. So that’s why it’s thinning.”
“And fully dressed, too!” he laughed. “So…we’re getting something like a base going here. Neglecta…is lemony. Not what I expected.” He sniffed again. “We need more sin.” Another drop of Givaudan sin.
“Any more sin, and I’ll be burned as a heretic,” I heard myself say. Already, my senses were reeling. “How Doc Elly does this, I don’t know.”
“I do.” Green labdanum absolute dripped down. That blotter should be banned, I caught myself thinking as I sniffed. It was heady. It was dangerous. It was glorious. It was very nearly the drop-dead sexiest thing I had stuck my nose in since Boxeuses. I hoped he wouldn’t wear it. I didn’t have anything left to sell.
“OK. We’ve got the rhythm now. We’ve got the bass line.” The Devil waved the blotter under my nose, and I breathed it all the way in. Danger. Dark. Devil. Oh, yes.
“Now,” he said after a while, “all we’re missing is a melody line and a lead guitar…”
to be continued…
12 thoughts on “Devilscent – Part Two: The Samples”
I love it! I love that you've brought the process into the story, or the story into the process… which ever it is, it feels so *right*.
When you review something, you have such a gift for creating the sense of the perfume—I feel like I can really smell it when I'm reading, and it's so exciting to me that you're taking us with you (or your characters are, anyway) through the process…
You had better get back to work though, because I want to smell this soon! 😉
I want some NOW!
Dee, darling, here's the thing. When Doc Elly and I decided to go for it, we also decided to have a little fun with it. So I thought…a little synergy couldn't hurt!
Also, when we review perfumes or indeed any creative endeavor, we review a finished product and know next to nothing about the steps along the way and the detours/accidents that happen in that creative minefield. I've dabbled in several media – music, art, words and now perfume, and trust me, that minefield is where the fun and the joy of it are!
So why not make my readers part of the process? Playing is at least half the fun, and fun is the whole idea, right? 😉
This is my idea of fun. (Well, one of them, at any rate!) I'm pretty sure it's yours, too! So why not? I'll take you with me as I go, and who can say what wonders we shall find and what discoveries we can make? It's only just beginning…
Carrie – this is only the beginning! We have a way yet to go, and I'm so happy you've chosen to come along for the ride! 🙂
I love it. I love the story and I love to be a witness to the creation of a perfume. And not any old perfume at that, but the perfume of the Devil, I am so exited!. Oh my, if my mother could hear me now…;)
What a fantastic idea. I can't wait to read more and to smell the final result!
“Hazardous to your fevered imagination.” LOL! No wonder I'm a perfume addict.
Such intriguing writing, being brought to life through the creation of a real perfume! Wow, I can't wait to see how this plot thickens…
B, rest assured that no matter what happens, I'll never, never tell your mother! I swear on my bottle of vintage Narcisse Noir! But yes – this IS exciting, and I'll make all of you part of the process! And that's a promise, too! 😉
Stay tuned, K! There's more to come and it's not over yet!
Suzanne – it will thicken, and in fact, is gelling not a little as I type..;)
Sounds like you and your fictional friend had an interesting evening, to say the least. I can't wait to hear the verdict on the samples – what to use, what to lose, what needs to be added above and beyond what you have!
Doc Elly, I think it's safe to say he'll be getting back to you very soon. He stole the blotter (the swine! and my notepad and disappeared in a whiff of goat. But – being the Devil, I'm sure he has all sorts of ideas.
All of them very, very bad in the best possible way! 😉