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Peony Moon and Coraline are Live!

2013 March 22

peony moon

In these spring days,
when tranquil light encompasses
the four directions,
why do the blossoms scatter
with such uneasy hearts?

Ume blossoms and pink peony against a pale backdrop of white sandalwood, Japanese apricot petals, lotus root, and spider lily.

Art by Mariah Huehner.


This month’s single note is:

Sperm whale intestinal glop, oh how the fragrance world adores you. Ambergris is born from a sticky, black bile secretion that gloops forth from the intestines of sperm whales. When fresh, it possesses a rank, seaweedy fecal odor, but once it has been embraced by sea and sun, it transforms into a uniquely intoxicating perfume fixative. This precious substance has been used in cosmetics for ages untold, and is said to be a potent aphrodisiac with the power to increase psychic sensitivity and induce prophetic dreams.

Our ambergris accord is lightly balsamic, slightly woody, almost tobacco-like marine musk, and possesses a distinct salty animalic note that borders on sweet. The scent is extraordinarily versatile, and adds depth and complexity to a wide swath of fragrance families.

No whales were harmed, fondled, scraped, prodded, or offended during the creation and production of this accord. It is 100% vegan, and has never seen the inside of a whale’s tummy.


Also, we are thrilled to announce five new additions to our Coraline series.


“What should I do?” asked Coraline.

“Read a book,” said her mother. “Watch a video. Play with your toys. Go and pester Miss Spink or Miss Forcible, or the crazy old man upstairs.”

“No,” said Coraline. “I don’t want to do those things. I want to explore.”

Dry grass, clean skin, and a little bit of mossy berry.


Miss Spink and Miss Forcible lived in the flat below Coraline’s, on the ground floor. They were both old and round, and they lived in their flat with a number of ageing Highland terriers who had names like Hamish and Andrew and Jock. Once upon a time Miss Spink and Miss Forcible had been actresses, as Miss Spink told Coraline the first time she met her.

“You see, Caroline,” Miss Spink said, getting Coraline’s name wrong, “both myself and Miss Forcible were famous actresses, in our time. We trod the boards, luvvy. Oh, don’t let Hamish eat the fruitcake, or he’ll be up all night with his tummy.”

“It’s Coraline. Not Caroline, Coraline,” said Coraline.

A grand, over-the-top tuberose gardenia.

A classic vintage musk.

Both Miss Spink and Miss Forcible scents have a bit of tea splash and biscuit crumbs.


“Mister Bobo?”

“The man in the top flat. Mister Bobo. Fine old circus family, I believe. Romanian or Slovenian or Livonian, or one of those countries. Bless me, I can never remember them anymore.”

It had never occurred to Coraline that the crazy old man upstairs actually had a name, she realized. If she’d known his name was Mr. Bobo she would have said it every chance she got. How often do you get to say a name like “Mr. Bobo” aloud?

Cooking herbs, pickles, and mouse fur.


There was a polite noise from behind her.

She turned around. Standing on the wall next to her was a large black cat, identical to the large black cat she’d seen in the grounds at home.

“Good afternoon,” said the cat.

Its voice sounded like the voice at the back of Coraline’s head, the voice she thought words in, but a man’s voice, not a girl’s.

“Hello,” said Coraline. “I saw a cat like you in the garden at home. You must be the other cat.”

The cat shook its head. “No,” it said. “I’m not the other anything. I’m me.” It tipped its head to one side; green eyes glinted. “You people are spread all over the place. Cats, on the other hand, keep ourselves together. If you see what I mean.”

“I suppose. But if you’re the same cat I saw at home, how can you talk?”

Cats don’t have shoulders, not like people do. But the cat shrugged, in one smooth movement that started at the tip of its tail and ended in a raised movement of its whiskers. “I can talk.”

“Cats don’t talk at home.”

“No?” said the cat.

“No,” said Coraline.

The cat leaped smoothly from the wall to the grass near Coraline’s feet. It stared up at her.

“Well, you’re the expert on these things,” said the cat dryly. “After all, what would I know? I’m only a cat.”

Sleek, black, dark, and clever: benzoin, honey, cedar, and dark musk.


Over at Black Phoenix Trading Post, in addition to the Peony Moon shirt, there’s a new Our Lady of Pain tee, and a new candle is available on the Illumination page.

The scent of an ancient, long-abandoned churchyard: weed-choked crumbling tombstones under the shadows of midnight and thick black soil disturbed by inhuman hands.

Also, a reminder that our west coast will call event is this Sunday, and our Seattle and Vermont will call events are next weekend.


The west coast will call event will be held on Sunday, March 24th from 4 to 7pm at Dark Delicacies.

Dark Delicacies
3512 W. Magnolia Blvd
(1 block east of Hollywood Way)
Burbank, CA 91505

New England Will Call will be held at Healthy Living Market on Sunday, March 31st from 4:00 to 7:00pm, in the Learning Center.

Healthy Living Market
222 Dorset Street,
South Burlington, VT, 05403


Seattle Will Call will be held at Bedlam Bedlam on Saturday, March 30th from 6:30 to 9:00pm.

613 East Pike Street
Seattle WA 98122

As always, if you have any questions about will call, please email us at

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