October 1, 2011
“Are you sure it’s safe here?”
“Safe enough. The Canadians jam everybody near the falls.”
“They said this would be my most important message yet.”
“They weren’t lying, son.”
The old man unscrewed the head of his cane. By several unexpected motions, a metal cylinder fell out. He opened the cylinder, revealing three vials of liquid.
“Where do I put it?”
The old man tapped the young man’s right calf with the cane.
“Inside your prosthesis.”
“What is it?”
The old man smiled.
“A biological weapon, according to regulations.”
“No. It’s an information weapon.”
“What kind of information?”
“Biological. Emotional. Historical.”
“I don’t get it.”
The old man opened one of the vials, carefully.
“This is for you. Smell it.”
“Is it safe?”
The young man laughed. He leaned forward, inhaled deeply, and recoiled.
“What the hell is that?”
The young man suddenly felt scared.
“What’s going on?”
His face showed recognition. Then horror.
“You’re drugging me!”
“No. I’m making you remember.”
“Oh God. Something is wrong.”
“Yes. Something is wrong.”
“You’re deconditioning me!”
“No. You’re deconditioning yourself. Let it happen.”
“You’re thinking. You want to remember.”
“Don’t fight it. You want to remember.”
“What do you remember?”
The young man clutched his chair. He froze. He stood up. He sat down. He grabbed the vial like a thief.
“I remember! My father! But….. He’s smoking a pipe!”
“Where are you?”
“The study. Wood! And paper! I smell it!”
“Those were books.”
“He smelled like this?”
“Yes. Go on.”
“Is that alcohol?”
“It’s cognac. Keep sniffing.”
“Something that smells like outside. Only more.”
“It’s hay. And flowers. And soil.”
“Why did I forget? Why am I remembering?”
“You were conditioned to forget your parents. You were taken away when they went into secret detention.”
“Yes. Your real parents. They’re dissidents. Your subconscious anger is why you joined the revolution.”
“What’s going on?”
“You’re going to help us get these vials to your parents.”
“To help them remember, too.”
“What is this stuff?”
“That vial is called Hermes. It’s a perfume.”
“No it’s not. Perfumes don’t smell like this. They smell…..”
The young man suddenly realized that perfumes – said by the Party to smell like All Good Things – smelled like nothing. The old man shook his head.
“Perfumes don’t smell like this any more. They can’t. But they did.”
The young man held up the vial.
“What’s in it?”
“Only natural things.”
“But everything is natural!”
“No. You’ve been lied to. Even your food is largely synthetic now.”
The young man looked confused.
“You’re going to sniff these three scents. That’s our back-up plan, in case you’re caught. You can still describe them.”
“How? How do you describe a smell?”
“You can draw, can’t you?”
“Draw pictures of your youth. Those pictures will be enough to break your parents.”
The young man was excited.
“Let me smell the others.”
“This one is for your mother.”
“What’s it called?”
“A flower from the South. Where she grew up.”
“She’s a writer. We want her to remember her youth.”
“It smells strong.”
“Hold it further away. It’ll smell more like the flower.”
“Wow. It smells good enough to eat!”
“Citrus candy, eh? It also smells like jasmine.”
“No it doesn’t.”
“Real jasmine. Not the chemical they call jasmine now.”
“It makes my eyes water. Am I allergic?”
“No you’re not. Smell again.”
“Damn. It smells like something.”
The old man pulled out a picture of some yellow flowers on hanging vines. The young man looked at them.
“It’s the vineys!”
The old man quickly produced another picture – an old porch with a swing, covered in the same vines.
The young man covered his face and began crying. The old man patted him on the back.
“We thought you would recognize your grandparents’ house.”
“This one is for my father?”
“He once stayed up all night with his parents – to see a meteor shower. They were in a garden in the Middle East. Night-blooming jasmine, roses, and a jasmine bush called juhi. We’ve combined those scents with your mother’s gardenia fragrance. The one she wore as a newlywed. This one contains real sandalwood, ambergris, and tobacco.”
“Real tobacco? Isn’t that illegal in Canada?”
“Not for natives.”
“Wow. Let me smell.”
“Be my guest.”
“It smells alive! Like live plants!”
“Good. That’s the effect we wanted.”
“What’s it called?”
“Wait. I’ve heard that before. Where?”
“Was it my father? Something he did?”
“Yes. It’s the movement he led. Before his arrest.”
“I remember! They were at my house. All the people.”
“Now you know why we call it the Jasmine Revolution.”
As they approached the border crossing, the old man stopped at an old bronze statue. He pondered it.
“They say there are many universes. An infinite number, actually. In many of them, none of this ever happened.”
“Would you want to live there? In one of those universes?”
The old man shook his head.
“No. I’d rather fight to save this one.”
The old man smiled and patted the younger one on the back.
“Good. Let’s get you to the crossing.”
The old man took one last look at the statue.
“Although, it might be very interesting to live in a world where that statue is Tesla, and not Edison.”
The young man laughed.
“Alternating current? Don’t be ridiculous!”
A rich, complex, green scent with natural liqueur notes. Woody, earthy, boozy, rosy, and comforting. It feels like olfactory déjà vu.
A deep, seductive, naturally sweet floral, evoking romantic evenings on a vine-covered porch in the South. Jasmine harmonies buzz like cicadas.
A natural multifloral extravaganza that evokes a cool, dewy garden, warmed by the first rays of dawn. The promise of a new day, captured in fragrance.
–Neil Sternberg, Contributor aka "The Redneck Perfumisto"
"Bottle of mine, it’s you I’ve always wanted! Bottle of mine, why was I ever decanted? Skies are blue inside of you, The weather’s always fine; For There ain’t no Bottle in all the world Like that dear little Bottle of mine.”
– Aldous Huxley, Brave New World, Ch. 5
Michelyn Camen Editor in Chief
We’ll be reviewing all ten fragrances in the Brave New Scents project over the next 24 hours. Any comment left on any of the reviews will be eligible to win any of the seven fragrances. We have 15mL flacons of Hermes by Adam Gottschalk, Jessamine by Charna Ethier, Royal Lotus by Anya McCoy, Enchant Parfum by JoAnne Bassett, New Dawn 5ml By Rohanna Goodwin Smithand 1/2 ounce wild rose by Jane Cate Ambre Alcheme by Elise Pearlstine. The draw will end October 7, 2011.
The participating perfumers are:
Adam Gottshalk of Lord Jester
Ambrosia Jones of Perfume by Nature
Anya McCoy of Anya's Garden
Charna Ethier of Providence Perfume
Christi Meshell of Matriarch
Elise Pearlstine of Belly Flowers
Jane Cate of Wing and a Prayer Perfume
JoAnne Bassett of JoAnne Bassett Perfumes
Liz Cook of One Seed Company
Rohanna Goodwin Smith of A Scent Natural Perfumes
Participating Bloggers are: