March 2014
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The smell of literature

One of my favorite authors is Jacqueline Carey.  One of my favorite books series is the Kushiel’s Legacy series, particularly the first trilogy, Phedre no Delaunay’s story.  Long story short, and with no spoilers, the heroine is a young woman picked by her Gods to experience pain with pleasure and save the realm of Terre d’Ange.  The land of Angels, where it’s precept is to Love as thou Wilt, and prostitution is a sacred act, a homage to the goddess who lay down with mortal men in order to feed Elua, the child of the son of the One God, and Mother Earth.  Of course, it’s not quite the tale for those of conservative minds.  Think 50 Shades of Gray, only better written, better characters, better story and well…a million times better.

Recently, the author, who is quite active on Facebook, posted about an etsy shop called Deconstructing Eden that made Kushiel inspired perfumes.  Well…I had to try them.  I ordered a sample set of 10, which cost $22, plus $4 for shipping.  Each bottle included was 2 ML.  The shop was fast, I received my order within a week.  Another friend who made an order had hers delayed, but the owner of the shop emailed her to let her know right away that it was delayed due  to an ingredient missing.  Quality customer service.

I ordered:

Alyssum House
Bryony House
Valerian House

And I was also given a free same of Gentian House.

Of course, you’d have to read the books to understand who and what each scent is supposed to represent.

Innocence and modesty

Innocence and modesty

Alyssum House-

The adepts of Alyssum House believe that Naamah trembled in modesty as she lay with the King of Persis in order to gain the freedom of Elua.  Modesty and innocence are the House canons, with the words of “With Eyes Averted”.  The perfume is soft and sweet, with a hint of musk.  The description is: Trembling modesty and sweetness are embodied in this blend. Alyssum, violets, a drop of Jasmine, pale peach roses, and a clean, warm skin musk.  I really liked it.  In a scale of 1-10, this one is an 8. It’s fairly close to how I would imagine an Alyssum Adept to smell.  It’s a very fragile scent, yet I would get whiffs of it all day.

The Bryony berry is incredibly toxic...quite an interesting choice for a House representing greed.

The Bryony berry is incredibly toxic…quite an interesting choice for a House representing greed.

Bryony House-

The adepts of Bryony House believe that when Naamah gave herself to the King Persis, she did so by striking a bargain, wagering that her beauty and the King of Persis desire for her would be enough to secure the freedom of Blessed Elua.  The House canon is avarice and wagering, and the words “Wealth seeks Company”.  Games of chance, matching wits and skills, the House provides the spice of competition to it’s patrons.  And there’s nothing money can’t buy.   This perfume is also nice. Sweet floral, but not overwhelming. I found it really light, barely noticing it as the day moved on, which was sort of surprising.  A House like Bryony seems like it could be overwhelming.  The description is as follows: A complex and heavy floral as befits this house of the Night Court. I used flowers and plants that symbolized wealth. Orange blossom and narcissus form the top notes. Green leaves, lily of the valley and rose (for Naamah) bloom in the heart notes. Amber and musk anchor this very rich floral fragrance.  I’d say 8 out of 10.

Valerian House-

"I yield"

“I yield”

The adepts of Valerian House believe that Naamah knelt before the King of Persis in submission, yielding her body to his darker desire.  One of the two Houses that cater to sharper pleasures, the adepts of Valerian live by the House words of “I yield.”  The House canon is submission and pleasing their patron, in whatever way desired.  The description of the perfume is deep and dark with patchouli and vetiver in the base notes. A kiss of leather whips, the lesson of the spice candies and blood red roses.  And I’m not kidding when I say it’s exactly as it smells and more.  My favorite of the perfumes for sure.  It is so good, and I’ll be making a purchase of a bigger bottle once my samples run out. It is that good. I smell the hint of leather, and the Cinnamon candies which are given to the initiates to test their understanding that with pain comes pleasure. All with an underlying musk which must be the patchouli…it’s so sensuous and delicious.  It’s really strong though (after all, that which yields is not always weak.) so be cautious about how much you use.  I was still smelling it when I went to bed.

10 out of 10 for sure.

"Truth and vision"

“Truth and vision”

Gentian House-

Smoke and opium, fortunes and dream seeing, Gentian adepts believe  when Naamah gave herself to the King Persis to earn Blessed Elua his freedom, it was because the purity of her voice, the truth of what she spoke, and the aura of spiritualism about her was so great that the King of Persis had to have her so he could know what his future would be. Mystical purity of spirit is the canon of Gentian House, and patrons that have troubles they need to discuss, issues they cannot go to a priest to, it is House Gentian they turn to, and why not, with House words of “Truth and Vision.”   The description is “this blend has frankincense and myrrh, opium smoke, gentian violets, a very smooth vetiver accord that I blended myself and french lavender, along with a wisp of smoke.”  It’s surprisingly powerful, my only complaint is I wish the myrrh smell was strong. I smell smoke, incense, lavender and a touch of violets. It’s very odd at first.  My husband smelled me and informed me I smelled of like a temple- incense and sacred oils.  So I think the feeling of truth and vision is spot on.  I’m going with a 7 out of 10 on this one. It mellows fast on my skin, but like I said, I wanted something with a bit more of a chrysm smell.

I guess we’ll call this part one of two, since this post is a lot longer than I intended.  So far, these are fantastic smells.  I’m not quite a “girly girl” and I’m honestly not a huge perfume fan.  Well, I wasn’t…I think I am now.  I’m pretty much in love with Valerian, and a few other scents that I haven’t gotten to yet.

tl;dr?  These smell good.  Go and buy them!  And then go read Kushiel’s Dart by Jacqueline Carey.

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