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  1. #1

    Default In the realm of fantasy - Can perfume possess Supernatural powers?

    Hi there!
    Its halloween and a full moon this week - a magical time! I was just thinking, we are familiar with the power of scent to trigger memories and evoke moods, but if we take a leap into fantasy and imagine ... what if a fragrance could bestow a super-power? What would your power be and what (or how) would it smell of?

    I would be fascinated to hear your thoughts, the more outlandish the better, whether your 'power' is represented by a mainstream fragrance, natural perfume or a concoction from your own imagination - you have free rein!

    I have started a blog post on the subject here http://wp.me/p18uMU-fq, so feel free to comment or continue the thread on Basenotes.

    Looking forward to hearing them!
    Thanks
    SirenofScent

  2. #2
    Basenotes Member hlatif33's Avatar
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    Default Re: In the realm of fantasy - Can perfume possess Supernatural powers?

    I think I see where you are coming from. Perfume is special. It can take you places like nothing else can. Good fragrance is one of the special delights of this world (the other being women...lol)
    Favorite notes at this point: Sandal wood, Oud, Frankincense, Rose

  3. #3

    Default Re: In the realm of fantasy - Can perfume possess Supernatural powers?

    Quote Originally Posted by hlatif33 View Post
    Perfume is special. It can take you places like nothing else can. Good fragrance is one of the special delights of this world (the other being women...lol)
    So True.

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    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: In the realm of fantasy - Can perfume possess Supernatural powers?

    lf l could choose any superpower, it would be teleportation, so l could travel wherever l want, whenever l want, in seconds, with no need for luggage. l guess the scent required would depend on the destination, so Virgin lsland Water would whisk me off to a tropical island, & so on...
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  5. #5

    Default Re: In the realm of fantasy - Can perfume possess Supernatural powers?

    I never really thought about that, but the question reminded me of a book I recently read: The Book of Lost Fragrances by M. J. Rose, where the characters are searching for a magical perfume formula, and the mystical and our sense of smell are intertwined. The ancients, apparently, also believed that the human soul is carried to heaven on the smoke of incense.

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    Super Member Mrnybluesman's Avatar
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    Default Re: In the realm of fantasy - Can perfume possess Supernatural powers?

    It would smell of the earth and of the sea....a dark foreboding tumultuous scent that would thrash the sea and cause thunder to shake the earth....to harken back to days when men were men and woman were woman.
    "It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it."

    "I've been everywhere but the electric chair seen everything but the wind."..

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    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: In the realm of fantasy - Can perfume possess Supernatural powers?

    Quote Originally Posted by catnip_too View Post
    I never really thought about that, but the question reminded me of a book I recently read: The Book of Lost Fragrances by M. J. Rose, where the characters are searching for a magical perfume formula, and the mystical and our sense of smell are intertwined. The ancients, apparently, also believed that the human soul is carried to heaven on the smoke of incense.
    l read this book, too. The perfume in the story was supposed to make people remember their past lives.
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

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    Default Re: In the realm of fantasy - Can perfume possess Supernatural powers?

    Thought I'd contribute by mentioning cases of such a thing which I've encountered in literature, besides the obvious Perfume: Story of a Murderer.

    Jitterbug Perfume features a sandalwood, beet pollen, and citron concoction which, along with certain lifestyle habits, confers immortality on wearers.

    Salman Rushdie's incomparable The Enchantress of Florence features an aging prostitute who is an expert in perfumes. She uses layers of perfume as a disguise to help get the protagonist inside the mogul's palace. Each layer is meant to smell appropriate for the classes of gatekeepers, from the crude guards to the grand vizier.

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    teardrop's Avatar
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    Default Re: In the realm of fantasy - Can perfume possess Supernatural powers?

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBars View Post
    Thought I'd contribute by mentioning cases of such a thing which I've encountered in literature, besides the obvious Perfume: Story of a Murderer.

    Jitterbug Perfume features a sandalwood, beet pollen, and citron concoction which, along with certain lifestyle habits, confers immortality on wearers.

    Salman Rushdie's incomparable The Enchantress of Florence features an aging prostitute who is an expert in perfumes. She uses layers of perfume as a disguise to help get the protagonist inside the mogul's palace. Each layer is meant to smell appropriate for the classes of gatekeepers, from the crude guards to the grand vizier.
    Ooh yes, l forgot about the first two! Although it was jasmine, not sandalwood, in the Jitterbug Perfume. The third book sounds interesting, thanks for the rec!
    "What is this secret connection between the soul, and sea, clouds and perfumes? The soul itself appears to be sea, cloud and perfume..." - from Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis.

  10. #10

    Default Re: In the realm of fantasy - Can perfume possess Supernatural powers?

    Quote Originally Posted by MonkeyBars View Post
    Salman Rushdie's incomparable The Enchantress of Florence features an aging prostitute who is an expert in perfumes. She uses layers of perfume as a disguise to help get the protagonist inside the mogul's palace. Each layer is meant to smell appropriate for the classes of gatekeepers, from the crude guards to the grand vizier.
    Yes, thank you for mentioning it. I'll put it on my to-read list.

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    Default Re: In the realm of fantasy - Can perfume possess Supernatural powers?

    Yes absolutely.

    In supernatural fiction, and in some well documented cases, ghosts (or whatever you wish to call them) can make their presence known simply by imparting a fragrance to their surroundings. Rule of thumb, if it smells like an open sewer - you'd better ring up an exorcist, otherwise it's normally fairly harmless. On the subject of exorcism, people who have witnessed or undergone such an ordeal often notice an overwhelming smell of roses in the immediate vicinity, providing it has gone successfully. Never, having seen one myself, I can't verify this, but again it's well documented.
    One more thing - as a kid, my parents' best friends lived in a sixteenth century toll house (you'd even pay to use the motorway on a mule four hundred years ago) which was reportedly haunted by the ghost of a herb seller. There was no apparition to speak of, no unaccountable cold breeze or flickering light - but occasionally the rooms would fill with the smell of fresh herbs for no apparent reason, even in the depths of winter - and there wasn't a Dyptique room spray in sight.

    Spooky huh?

    [
    Last edited by Tucker; 26th November 2012 at 10:58 PM. Reason: duplicated by accident!
    Possibly tone deaf..

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    Default Re: In the realm of fantasy - Can perfume possess Supernatural powers?

    Just finished Roald Dahl's Switch Bitch. When I got the book I was like "Why is there a perfume bottle on the cover of this?" I bought the book because I loved My Uncle Oswald which is a first-hand account of the author's fictional uncle's exploits, sexual and otherwise. Hilarious character and writing. This book contains a couple short stories "by" Uncle Oswald. In the first one, the narrator does mention some super animalic elixir being worn by his host's wife and daughter. The last one involves a special perfume . . . and a discussion about olfaction! Not sure how accurate it is and I won't say any more. In any case, it's a great read.

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