Recently I have taken to burning perfume.
This began when deciding that a bottle of Maja Myrurgia, given to me by my perfume cohort Zubeyde, would smell better in the air than on my skin, and, dipping my daily Japanese incense sticks in a used bottle of 19 ( come on, I’m not that sacrilegious ), once they had dried, and absorbed, the delicate lavender rose Spanish patchouli of that black-laced, widowed classic, when lit, I was delighted by the gentle, powdered, calming and genteel miasma that arose slowly in the air. The incense itself is benign and unobtrusive enough to not interfere with the essential components of the scent, just softens it….
In our ‘genkan’, or entrance, we have incense sticks dipped like oil slicks in a densely scented broil of raw patchouli essential oil and Annick Goutal’s strangely witchy Mandragore Pourpre. While the black pepper and citrus beginning of the scent on my skin is almost annoyingly fresh and alive, when lost in a skin of liquid patchouli, the anise and heliotrope facets of the perfume that I like work nicely as semi-hypnotic scent wands that greet me pleasingly when I come home after a hard day’s night. When burnt, the smell is outrageous, the darkest, most sinuous patchouli perfume you can imagine, snaking its way in plumes among the nooks and crannies of the house, lingering fingers of roots and dust and powdered elixirs.
And upstairs, shockingly, I have been burning No 5. My extrait bored me, and I wanted to smell it airborne. Delightful, the soft aldehydic roses and jasmine floating on clouds of ambered smoke: an outrage, an offering.