ESP Solid Cologne | A Dark, Rich, Musky, Warming Attar | Long Awaited
ESP is truly Extra Sensory Perfuming! It will, get inside your mind for sure!
Scent Profile: White Sage, Palo Santo, Patchouli, English Lavender, Coriander, Ginger, Agarwood, Benzoin, Labdanum, & a kiss of Oakmoss.
In the world of everyday existence, the five senses reign, but their powers are sharply limited. We perceive the universe in glimpses through narrow portals, acquiring our knowledge by sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. But what if knowledge has wider gateways and thresholds? What if, beyond vision, humans have another way of seeing? ~ Mysteries of the Unknown
First off, thank you all for your incredible patience! I cannot believe this release took about a year to make a reality. I kid you not, I began working on ESP this time last year, inspired by the cold weather we had been experiencing in bursts here in our part of the desert. Then over the course of the year I was sending out samples of ESP to every meet up that happened. Those that tried it fell in love with it! Seriously, we were (and still are) inundated with emails, PMs and phone calls from folks wondering what the hold up was/is. Honestly, I cannot really say, I am just as baffled by it. But I will say, it gave us a lot more time to push and pull at the recipe and allow for the scent blend to age. This is always a plus, and truly in the spirit of attar.
Much like Meta Nectar, ESP is also our take on a classic attar or ittar, the worlds earliest perfume! Where Meta Nectar is bright and almost fruity, ESP is the polar opposite, Dark, Musky & Warming. Traditionally, this would be the type of attar to wear in the cooler weather but I can see gents wearing this all year round for it is truly intoxicating stuff. Much like I predicted last year was the year of the musk, 2020 I believe to be the year of the attar!
As for the theme, I go where the characters in the PAA Universe take me! That said, attached to this release, like many in the past, there is a story. If you have not been following it as it unfolds on our social media fear not for you will also find it below! [Scroll Down]
ESP is really something special my friends and lord knows, a long time coming. For many, this scent will really stand out in your collection and you will find yourself drawn back to it time and time again! [But you knew that...ESP.]
Why Solid Cologne?
- Complete Scent Profile Lasts Longer
- Product Lasts Longer, A Little Goes A Long Way
- Travels better than any bottle of splash or spray
If you are like me and can't walk by a puck of soap without opening it and stealing a sniff, Solid Cologne is meant for you!
I must confess, I was not a believer in Solid Colognes until recently! Many times when asked if I would ever consider doing one, my default answer was always:
"Solid Colognes are for hippies and little girls."
I really believed this. I mean, I vividly remember my little sister getting some that came with a doll of hers when she was 5! I also remember seeing the stuff on offer in many a new age store on the shelf next to the incense in intricately carved soapstone compacts, lol.
I assure you dear reader, my answer wasn't meant to be hurtful or mean spirited, and I admit I was simply wrong and uneducated in the ways of this magical stuff!
So what changed my mind you ask? Quite simply, it was the history. It turns out I actually owned a book on solid perfumes! I know, how is this possible? But it does happen.
Whenever I delve into anything I go full tilt and many years back, when I began working on honing my skills as a perfumer, I ordered every book out there! Some books were even in French! And one, as I mentioned, was on Solid Perfumes... totally didn't read the subtitle when ordering it, all I read was "Perfume". When it arrived, uninterested, I tossed it to the side, only to stumble upon it once more, years later, while transferring books to a new shelf.
And after the many requests from people over the years I did become more curious as to what all the hoopla was about in regards to the balm. So I put the tome on my bed and promised to take a quick gander at it before I fell asleep that night. That gander turned into a marathon session, a real page turner!
I am embarrassed to say I was way wrong, my previous exposure to the stuff was very limited, and I really had no right making up my mind to write it off so quickly. Solid Perfumes & Colognes were born out of a rich history and are totally different animals when it comes to scent carriers. I was looking at them completely wrong.
Fact is, a Solid Cologne is a much more personal, intimate, and tactile creation when compared to say, an Eau De Parfum, Cologne, or Aftershave. It is not meant for everyone in the room to smell but rather those closest to you, as well as yourself. It isn't meant to live on the shelf in your bathroom, but more as a travel companion tucked in your backpack, briefcase, gym bag or carry on!
This is part of the history!
Back in the day, solid perfumes were kept close, often on the body, hidden in the secret compartment of a ring, or worn close to the heart in a locket or metal ball called a Pomander. It was always there for a quick whiff or application to the hot spots or facial hair.
Many men and women even carried scent boxes with them back in the day for inhaling while walking the fowl streets of medieval cities! Some of these boxes and compacts held multiple scents to be enjoyed one at a time or all at once or in different combinations. The sniffer could turn on or off the different scents of the accord...That's just AWESOME! Like playing your own composition on a musical instrument. Scent for scents sake!
Even plague doctors got in on the act and kept solid perfume on themselves as well. Many now know that doctors of that time wore curious bird like masks, the beak of which was stuffed with aromatic herbs. These herbs were thought to prevent the spread of the plague, and they were also used to eclipse the stench coming off the patients.
What you may not know is these doctors also came outfitted with a cane that hid a secret flip lid in the handle. This compartment held a blended, solid perfume that could be accessed in a pinch and smeared under the nose. Brilliant!
In Ancient Egypt, solid perfumes were a large part of the culture. An Egyptian woman often wore what was called an unguent, or scent cone, containing the perfume, on the top of her head. Unlike modern solid perfumes, which are mixed with wax and oils, these ancient fragrances were blended with animal fat, and during the course of the hot day it would melt and anoint the wearer...that's pretty epic!
I could go on, but instead, I encourage you to do your own research. I promise you it is fascinating and will give you a greater appreciation of Solid Cologne and Perfumes!
So, with the weight of history dancing in my head I went to work on creating my own Solid Cologne, and it came out wonderful! Rather than dissolving absolutes, resins, and balsams into alcohol as I typically would for an alcohol based perfume, I carefully heated them, and along with the scent oils, blended them into the Beeswax, Shea Oil, Jojoba oil, Prickly Pear Oil matrix.
I find that, as the perfumer, the scent stays truer longer to the original shape I was going for. Meaning, volatile top notes last longer and heart notes fade slower too! Base notes will last much, much longer as they mix and mingle more organically with your own body chemistry and natural oils seamlessly.
Solid Cologne is a total and complete departure from the chemical reaction one experiences with an alcohol based product. It is more like a harmonious alchemical marriage, than a quick burn and evaporate dry down effect. Very different energetics when compared, and don't misunderstand me, they are both wonderful, but again, unique from each other, and that's what I didn't understand before.
Even the mechanics of application are different. Apply it once or revisit it many times during the day as a pick me up, no one will even notice when you do. There's a very sensual element at play here, like a secret with yourself.
I really have to say, this whole process enriched me as a perfumer, I truly felt part of a greater work. Ok, it's getting a little woo woo, but I think you are picking up what I'm putting down, no?
It's true, I really misunderstood solid perfumes in the past and dismissed them way too soon in my arrogance. If you are like I was, I encourage you to become humble and check them out, otherwise you are doing yourself a great disservice.
Now...How DO I Use Solid Cologne?
Rub a finger across the top of the solid cologne and apply it to the pulse points & hot spots: wrists, neck, inside of elbow, behind the ears, and heart. You can also use in the beard, moustache or hair. Reapply through the day or whenever yo need a pick me up!
1.5 Oz Heavy Duty Glass Jar & Bakelite Cap
Travel Jar Add on is 20ml (.67oz) plastic jar
Ingredients: Beeswax, Shea Oil Jojoba oil, Pumpkin, Prickly Pear Oil, Fragrance & Rosemary Extract
Handmade in Arizona, USA
Net Wt. 1.5 oz.
The Saga Continues.
1920 Ithaca, New York
Aldous slowly raised his head and before him was a crystal ball, beyond that was a candle burning and flickering in a draft coming from somewhere. Where the devil was he? Only moments before he was walking & talking with Douglas in Elysian Park, deep in the center of the hollow Earth, but now, suddenly, he seemed to be in a dark, dank, cabin or was it a boat? Did he detect motion?
He reached for the loop of the candle holder and with it in hand began to scan the small room. He dodged strange, random objects that hung and swayed from the ceiling; herbs, candles, pots, pans, and other things he couldn't quite make out. He bumped into a string of moly or garlic rather...why did he think of it as moly? He soon found the source of the moving air, rickety old window shutters. He threw the rough, clunky wooden latch up and pushed them open to the night. He was moving alright.
He could now hear voices speaking low and the rhythmic clip clop of horse hoofs. He wasn't bobbing in a boat but being pulled in a wagon along a dirt road in the night! The air was rich with palo santo and a musky incense. He took in a deep breath. He then turned back into the room and took an unsteady step towards the mirror across from where he stood. What ever was he wearing? Just then the wagon stopped abruptly and a tiny door slid open in the wall to his left, just wide enough to see a mans nose and beard. The beard parted revealing a mouth, a few tobacco stained teeth and a gruff voice.
"We are here swami. They expect us set up and ready in 20 minutes." Swami? Did he detect sarcasm? Stroking his chin he pondered.
But before he could start to process these new details, he was caught off guard as the back wall began to slowly lower down like a draw bridge and he was suddenly bathed in a bright, brilliant light that reflected and shimmered off his robes and bejeweled turban. Thank god he was wearing pants he thought...wait, was he wearing pants? Before him stood the giant tents of a carnival setting festooned with oil lamps and tinsel. This had to be a dream.
* * *
1920 Ithaca, New York (still)
Aldous now sat behind a table on a small stage with its heavy, well worn, velveteen curtains drawn before him. He quietly stood up and made his way on tip-toes to the closed curtain and peeked thru. It was a true melange of folks; Old, Young, clean and smelling nice, grimy and smelling well, grimy. There were even a few audience members wearing holocaust cloaks. This really had to be a dream.
Of course he didn't just find himself behind the table as one would flick from scene to scene in your average, middle of the road type dream. No, he watched the big, bald, bearded fellas that doubled as his drivers set the stage. Snorting and breathing heavy as they did, they prepared the set effortlessly like they had done this a zillion times. Not one made eye contact with him however, even when they spoke to him.
He now just stared into the foot lights through the crack in the curtain, mesmerized by the crude colored glasses that were used on them to set the mood, alternating slowly from red, then to blue, then to green. It was either the 1920s and he was in a traveling vaudeville show or it was 1967 and he was in the thick of it. He wanted to believe his first hunch, actually, he really wanted to believe this was all a dream but the vividness was just too real.
He sighed to himself as he accepted his current predicament. Did Doug not just mention something about time traveling? He slowly started to smile. After all it had only been a few weeks back that he was lost and out of his gourd bumbling and stumbling and mumbling through the ancient tunnels between outer & inner Earth...this could be fun.
But what was his schtick, what was all this? Was he really a swami? He honed in on the back of a grubby playbill someone in the first row held up close to their bad eyes and a cold, electric shiver ran down his spine. It was him staring back at him, the very same him he was staring at in the mirror only moments before! He wore a turban and his eyes looked like fire piercing through his very soul-- Groovy.
This was right up his alley, though he couldn't remember why? There was a lot about himself that he still couldn't quite remember, but esoteric knowledge sprung like a fount from his mind. He totally had this. At that moment, he made eye contact with one of the cloak wearers in the back row and it winked at him. It also seemed to pant like a very large dog for a second, then smile? He really needed to sit down again. He carefully made his way back towards his seat flummoxed. Then, without warning, the lights lost their colors and stopped spinning as the curtain was pulled open. A man in a cape took the stage and began to introduce "Swami Alexander, The Man Who Knows".
* * *
1920 Ithaca, New York [yup, still there]
The cloak was getting really heavy and itchy as they patiently waited on the bench watching the rows before them fill up. Whose idea was it to wear these things anyways? Oh yeah, his.
He let out a sigh and wiped the sweat off his forehead with the back of his hand. What a bizarre few weeks it had been for Douglas Smythe. In that time he had discovered the lost inner Earth city of AGHARTA, battled with a an ancient, shape shifting lake monster, time traveled a couple times in there for good measure and now here he was, sitting on a beat up bench in 1920 next to Fran, Ludmilla, the sister he never knew he had and a 100lb Malmute wearing a holocaust cloak, and pulling it off smashingly. This had to be a dream.
Doug had a theory. Simply by him mentioning the fact that he had somehow “time hopped”, the current working title he had given these seemingly random leaps, the listener would become infected too. For lack of a better word. This was the case with Aldous, Fran, Ludmilla and Huxley at least. Due to the suspected nature of this phenomenon he had really held off testing his hypothesis any further, i.e., tell anyone else.
It was almost as if just becoming aware of the possibility of time hopping gave everyone this ability to, well...time hop. He only wish he had known this before he opened up his big mouth and inadvertently bounced Aldous out of the garden as he watched the man ponder as he often did. He was a ponderer. In shock Douglas had zapped himself back to Lake Vostok where he once again made the same mistake by telling Fran and Huxley. Poof, Poof they were both gone! But unlike Aldous, within minutes they returned. Huxley gnawing on a rather large, jurassic milk bone and Fran with a sun tan. He excused himself to use the bathroom and as soon as he locked the door, zapped himself back to AGHARTA. Time travel rocked.
Time Hop Virus
But who had exposed him to it? For the last couple of weeks he had fallen asleep with this question recklessly cartwheeling around his brain. These mental tumblings would inspire dreams that flashed strobe-like across the screen of his mind cinema. Sometimes there was a pretty woman with long blond hair whispering into his ear while pushing salted, buttered popcorn into his mouth. At other times, soldiers would be rummaging through their camp and supplies or dragging him and Fran away. It was just a dream and so very fractured but oh so very real, like a true memory and, and popcorn. Doug shook his head like an Etch-a-Sketch, no time to think about that however, now they had to rescue Aldous who at last they finally located!
It would seem Aldous jumped himself into someone else's life, not body mind you, but life. This had not been the case with the rest of them so it was really tough to wrap their minds around. If "Past Fran" had not stumbled upon an old vaudeville poster in the AHARTIAN Hall Of Records with Ludmilla, they would have never found him. Oddly enough, the women had happened upon this flyer only moments before Aldous hopped. When Doug finally found them after Aldous disappeared Fran was holding it in her hand and waving it at him.
"Doug, check this out, it's Aldous!" She excitedly exclaimed.
He snatched it from her. There on the poster was a face he immediately recognized but the turban was a whole new thing, that actually didn't look half bad. Doug was a hat man. But that was Aldous alright despite the piercing, fiery, hypnotic eyes. From there he introduced himself to his sister Ludmilla (long story), and then explained all he knew to them. He gave Past Fran a kiss, grabbed Ludmilla's hand and zapped them both back to Antarctica. All this time hopping is just dizzying, no?
But here they were, ready to grab their friend and go. Of course it would not be that easy, it never was. It would take timing, cunning and snacks, lots of snacks. Huxley agreed with him on all these points, especially the last. The plan was pretty straightforward, they disguise themselves in hooded cloaks, create some sort of diversion, possibly involving one of them faking a seizure, grab Aldous, hold hands and zap themselves back to AGHARTA or better yet, the small coral island of *Aniwa. They were definitely going to need a relaxing vacation after this for sure. Suddenly the curtains opened and a man in a cape stepped out on stage. He proceeded to introduce the unassuming fellow now sitting behind the skirted table under the spotlight, the man Doug knew as Aldous. [*See John Frum]
"Greetings and welcome ladies and gentlemen, you are certainly in for a real spooky spectacle tonight! Introducing the world renown mentalist and psychic, Swami Alexander...The Man Who Knows!"
All eyes were on Aldous. He sat looking forward, staring off over the audience. His head dropped and then slowly he raised it and began to speak in an eery, haunted voice.
"Ithaca...." He began and paused. It was clear to Doug he was searching for words. "...Ithaca, is gorges." he blurted out. The 4 hooded audience members chuckled to themselves while the rest of the crowd stared blankly at Aldous.
"Trust me, that will be a thing someday." Aldous said sheepishly. He was bombing.
Doug, Ludmilla, Fran & Huxley huddled in. "Ok folks we better act fast before the fruit starts flying" said Doug in a whisper, and continued."Do you remember the pla..." but before he could finish Huxley, Ludmilla and Fran threw themselves on the ground and started to fake fits. Crap, they never actually decided who was going to go into a faux seizure, he assumed it would be him. It now seemed they all assumed it would be themselves...lovely. A few beats now behind, Doug dropped to the floor and joined in the foaming knock about.
People stood up screaming and shouting in fear, especially when Huxley's robe began to unravel. "Werewolves!!!" Someone shrieked.
Great. Things were definitely not going as planned.
We all know what's worse than shouting Fire in a packed theater, werewolves. Werewolves freak people out, they make lousy friends, and even worse pets. They will keep you up all night howling, often have fleas and if they bite you, not only does it hurt, you become a werewolf too. No one wants that, especially in 1920. But I digress.
Complete pandemonium broke out as people ran towards the exit flaps. Confused and a little frightened himself, Aldous knew what he had to do. He stood up straight and pointed towards his friends, who at the time, did not realize they were his friends, and shouted.
"Sieze them!" He always wanted to use that line. The bald, bearded stage hands were suddenly on top of them. This had to be a dream.
To Be Continued...