Tobacco Rose is a rich, saturated, luxurious rose fragrance from Papillon Perfumery that would probably have inspired Shakespeare to write another dozen sonnets or plays. In Romeo and Juliet, he said “a rose by any other name smells as sweet,” arguing that names do not matter, only the essential nature of a thing. He’s right, but I don’t think that his philosophy always holds true for perfumes. Names do matter in the expectations that they create, and “Tobacco Rose” is no different. Yet, in this case, I find none of darkness that is suggested, and I think that the scent would appeal far more to a “Juliet” than to a “Romeo.” That said, if a particular Juliet were a really passionate rose fanatic, I suspect she might swoon far more over Tobacco Rose than any words spouted by a pimply Romeo.
Anubis rose from the darkness to survey his kingdom. The Underworld was a vortex of blackness from the incense in the air and the monstrous lava waterfall that cascaded a torrent of sticky, smoking, balsamic resins into the thick, turgid brown rivers of musky, leathered castoreum below. Anubis, God of the Dead, was himself made of these same things: his black body was smoking leather, tobacco’d resins, and incense turned as hard as obsidian, then covered with the musky, animalic sharpness of castoreum oil.
Yet, there was also colour in this dark kingdom of spirits, subtle though it may be at times. The river banks were made from darkened cloves, then covered with pink lotus blossoms that smelled like dark green oakmoss. The path to Anubis’ throne was strewn with blood-red rose petals and sweet white jasmine, though the incense had rendered them dry and darkened. Creeping decay tinged their edges brown, as did the earthiness of pink lotus blossom absolute. Tiny flickers of yellow and orange came from fireflies made of citrus, which darted in the air by Anubis’ throne where Bast lounged almost naked. Continue reading