After a karaoke all nighter with colleagues, walking up the hill this morning in the freezing dawn – it was my last day of term, if not theirs – I find myself, this mellow Sunday afternoon, sprawled around the house in thick, orientalic amber mode, spraying like the last harlot; rich, spiced incense burning downstairs in the hall : no sheepish reluctance with the unguent; resin, balsam, for fear of lingering skin effects in the Japanese classroom: exposure to the innocents of the filthy musked horror of the untapped id. No. Christmas and New Year are coming, my seclusion : and I want it hot and fragrant.
What better company for the Shalimar, Reve Indien, Unum Opus, my home-doctored, dangerous Saigon cinnamon Obsession, Vaniglia Del Madagascar, all those staples, than Bengale Rouge by Liz Moore, a mulled potboiler of glowing orientalia based on the classic Shalimaresque formula of labdanum, opoponax, tonka, vanilla; orris root powdering out from the core for inner architecture, but dispensing with the flowers, the citruses and the Johnson’s and Johnson’s; ladling on the spices hard and deep beneath a big fist of honey : : sweet and moreish, skinclinging – as a dry, manly sandalwood joss stick unfurls stolidly somewhere in the distance behind your mind’s eye. The effect : a sturdying, galvanizing oriental that haunts your dreams with sensual suffocation if you wear it on the back of your hand and on your wrists as I did one night recently : interfering in the smooth running of my dreams – making them confused: more torrid ( as if that were even possible ).