Terra Preta Solid Cologne | Contains Prickly Pear Oil | The Scent of Fresh, Dark, Earthy Soil
A Phoenix Shaving Classic Returns Better Than Ever! [Follow our continuing saga below in our 3 part episodes, Scroll way down!]
Scent Profile: Geosmin, Spikenard, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Patchouli. In other words, the scent of good ol' clean, honest, DIRT!
Though many will want to wear this scent as is, it really shines when combined with Mega Flora! That's right folks, this series of fragrances; Mega Flora, Terra Preta and an up coming 3rd scent (TBA), are to be mixed and matched! Essentially, when you apply these products you are constructing the rain forest from the ground up!
What Is Terra Preta?
Terra Preta or Amazonian Dark Earth (ADE) is really something special when it comes to our human history on this planet and real signs of ancient tech! That's right, it's highly probable that this particular soil was created by ancient scientists over 8000 years ago! It was through the creation of this super fertile, regenerative soil that South America was able to support all the ancient cities it once did before the Europeans crashed the party!
Though Terra Preta was once a controversial idea, more and more scientists are in agreement these days, thanks to the most recent introduction of Airborn LIDAR Archeology! Previously undiscovered settlements that once house over a million people are popping up everyday! And what supported these communities? Terra Preta or Farming, a condition that would need to pre-date these large populations.
Terra Preta is so amazing and fertile that it is still in use all over the Amazon to this date!
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
Beeswax, Shea Oil Jojoba oil, Prickly Pear Oil, Fragrance & Rosemary Extract
Handmade in Arizona, USA
Net Wt. 1.5 oz.
Terra Preta | The Saga Continues
When we last saw our heroes, they were entering a mysterious, Mega Flora jungle, hot on the trail of an equally mysterious CUBE. Little did they know, they too were being hunted...
Maria Orsic was truly energized, it had been a long time since she had been so close to Douglas Smythe and his ragtag gang of do-gooders. If she was ever going to get her hands on Vril she would need to first find the fabled inner earth city of AGHARTA. It was clear to her now that Douglas Smythe had been there and knew the way back.
Back when she first began her quest it seemed reasonable to assume this would be easy. The strange man in the captain's hat had initially appeared to her as an eccentric, easy target...but she had been wrong. She had been on his trail for what seemed like years, when in reality, her reality, it had only been months. At every turn he outsmarted her and then eventually, vanished into thin air! What kind of strange magic did he and his team possess?
* * *
"Damned if I know!" Exclaimed Doug in reply to Aldous' last question.
He wasn't lying, he really wasn't sure what he did with the bug repelling aftershave he thought for sure he had packed.
"Mud, believe it or not, makes for a highly effective bug repellent..." said Aldous not paying any attention to the concerned looks that came from all around. He continued, "In a pinch, it is perfectly acceptable to smear oneself with damp earth." As he spoke he scooped up some dark soil and began rubbing it over his face as the others looked on in exhausted "now what?" kind of interest.
Just then Doug grabbed Aldous' hand and held it steady beneath his eyes. He then gave it a quick, focused sniff. He was immediately transported away. The combination of Terra Preta and the Mega Flora around them seemed to flip a switch inside him. It was as if a green glitter bomb exploded in his brain! The fragrance was that of a complete, magical, enchanted forest swaying in a tropical gust of epic. From the floor of the jungle to the emergent layer of the trees the fragrance was simply, synesthetically speaking, vivid! He made a mental note to try and recreate that fragrance in his lab when this was all over. He gave the fresh, black soil one more whiff and looked up.
"I know where we are!" He declared with cocksureness.
"Where?" asked Fran, with a slightly skeptical but curious glint.
"The Amazon Jungle." Doug replied while giving Aldous his hand back. Everyone now looked at Doug, except Aldous, who was now using two hands to liberally apply the slick, stygian, jungle muck all over his body.
"We my friends are standing on Terra Preta or ADE, Amazon Dark Earth!" Doug stated this very matter of factly as if everyone was familiar with the plant and soil sciences.
"What exactly does that mean?" asked Ludmilla.
Doug raised a finger and was about to answer but before he could, Aldous took over the conversation. Doug slowly closed his mouth and lowered his finger with a sigh.
"Terra Preta is pretty magical stuff and is found throughout the Amazon Jungle." Said Aldous
"Magic? How?" Ludmilla asked.
"In that it is not natural but was actually designed!" He excitedly explained.
"Designed? By who?" she begged.
"That, is the million dollar question. You see, the base soil natural to the rainforest is virtually non existent, it's terrible and impossible to grow anything in, at least anything substantial enough to support the thousands of ancient people that once thrived here in pre-columbian times. It's unlike any other soil on this planet, containing unique properties and even more unique microorganisms only found in Terra Preta.
When studied on a whole, it seemed to be a pre-existing condition put in place before this area was settled but by who or what, no one knows. What makes it so amazing is its endless regenerative power that is still in use even today! It's a combination of charcoal, clay, pottery shards and various organic matter."
"People really once occupied this jungle? I find that hard to believe." Spoke Ludmilla almost at a hush as she looked around.
But Aldous heard her and responded. "If you are looking for remanence of a most wondrous past, it's right here, Terra Preta! The fact that we see no other signs of these great settlements tells us how far back in history this lost civilization existed! Granted, we are a few hundred years ahead in time...but even in our own time line, it is tough to find anything more than this Dark Earth."
"However, if you have a keen eye..." Doug continued, cautiously raised his finger and squinting at his mud covered friend, "you will notice different species of plant and tree life huddled together almost as if intentionally...because it is intentional. Amazonia is one giant, overgrown, lost orchard and garden! This didn't happen naturally, this was by design!"
"Truly a virtual Garden of Eden with regard to the multitude of plants and wildlife." Added Aldous.
"Heck..." said Doug, "This could actually be what is left of the legendary Garden of Eden! The bones of Eden" he waxed poetically.
"But why are we here?" Fran piped in. A really great question from Fran, as usual.
Why were they here? At this point it was abundantly clear, no pun intended, that they were meant to be here...in the Amazonian Jungle a few hundred years into the future. This question stumped them all, again, no pun intended. But before Aldous could open his mouth our at least make the hmmmmmm sound, Huxley came came darting at them from the dense jungle covered in vegetation. He went into a careful sequence of canine interpretive dance and something else that resembled charades down on four legs and without opposable thumbs.
* * *
While the humans stood around and talked about manure and dirt, Huxley, with all the grace an Alaskan Malamute can afford, secured the perimeter. Never that good with direction, Huxley actually found himself turned around and back at the entrance to the jungle. This perturbed him. It also made him hungry. But before he could really get upset he saw them. It was a group of about 30 soldiers led by a very beautiful woman with long blonde hair and penetrating green eyes.
What the heck was going on? Before he could react, she took notice of him, he froze. Then in an instant, a voice, not his own, was in his head. "Hello Huxley, I have been looking for you. Be not afraid, we are not going to hurt you. We represent the Third Reich." That was all Hux needed to hear in order to break the spell that bound him there. He took off back into the jungle at the speed of...well, a 100 lb Alaskan Malamute with a poor sense of direction.
* * *
From many feet above CUBE balanced, perched on a branch observing all. From this vantage point he could see both parties of humans in the jungle. It was quite clear the smaller group of hairless monkeys, which was made up of that curious fool Douglas Smythe and his giant wolf dog, were oblivious to the larger mob sneaking up on them. How interesting. Though not very intelligent, humans where always a lot of fun to watch. Now, if only they were as cute as pandas. He sighed with that last thought.
CUBE was on a very important mission but this was a welcomed distraction. While Douglas Smythe and his team did often manage to get in his way, he knew it wasn't completely intentional, though that didn't make it any less frustrating when it happened. He decided to get a little closer to the group led by the mysterious woman with the long hair and probe their thoughts.
* * *
Professor Günter Müller could not be more exhilarated. When he was originally ordered to accompany Fräulein Orsik on this mission weeks back he didn't know what to think. Nothing seemed less interesting to his scientific mind. He could never understand why his superior officers entertained these superstitious, spiritualist types, carry overs from the last century. Up until his orders came down he was in the middle of quite a break through of his own. But orders are orders and though a scientist, he was a soldier first and must obey.
However, this mission had been anything but boring. He had witnessed things no one back in the lab would ever believe, things he would never speak of out loud for fear of getting locked up! Maria was no throwback spiritualist con artist at all but a very disciplined student of the occult and its magic. He had seen her do things that defied logic; predict future events, move objects with her mind, cast spells, and even time travel! If all went well, in one more day he and his fellow soldiers would finally be in AGHARTA. The thought of this added new energy to each step. In front of him he watched as Maria slowed her pace. Something was happening.
"Halt." Maria said holding up her hand. "I can hear voices up ahead." With a quick hand signal she sent the scouts up ahead. "Report back once you make visual contact." she said quietly but curtly. One thing she had noticed and was mildly concerned about was the group of people Douglas surrounded himself with. Who were they? She got a quick look of the talkative one and there was something very familiar about him. It would come to her. In the mean time, she had a very, very strong feeling they were being watched. She looked up.
* * *
CUBE suddenly felt as if he was sensed by the woman. He watched her stop the group of men as she began scanning the rain forest canopy above her. He remained perfectly still. This was new. The only other human to ever really detect him was Douglas, but that was just dumb, gringo luck. This was something else. He decided to check back in with the other humans before continuing on with his mission.
* * *
"He's back" said Doug to no one in particular.
"Who?" asked Fran.
"CUBE. I can't see him but he's close, very close." Doug answered as he sniffed the air around him like a bloodhound.
Why had life taken on such a surreal, dreamlike quality these last few years. Why were they here and how was this connected to CUBE? He thought back to the second time he encountered CUBE.
It had been over a month and Doug felt as if he was going crazy. It had been almost a year since he and Hux had met CUBE and that was that, or so he thought. He chocked the experience up there with all the other odd and strange encounters he had experienced in his life, and there were many. The thing is, this list of high strangeness was that of one offs, never reoccurring. CUBE was different. CUBE was back and now stalking him...possibly.
He never outright saw CUBE, it was more like something in the corner of his eye, something black and shaped like, well, a CUBE. But when he would quickly turn to look, there was nothing there. Being an artisan soap maker Doug didn't spook easily but this was becoming really disconcerting. And then, for the last week, these subtle visitations seemed to stop, which was even more disconcerting. Maybe he was just seeing things after all, the product of an unnaturally over active imagination, which he and many could attest to. And he would have gleefully kept going with this train of thought had he not been suddenly and most rudely kidnapped.
* * *
The three ex-special operatives were crouched down behind creosote bushes in a neighbors yard across the street from where Douglas and Fran lived. They had been watching them for days. Truth be told, these folks, Doug and Fran, were not their mark, but their marks mark, or so it seemed. They were sent out to observe CUBE, gather information and capture him (or her) alive. They relied on different sci-fi looking hand held gadgetry to track this mysterious beings whereabouts all around the planet. CUBE never stayed in one place for more than a few days but he had been hanging around Phoenix for weeks now. Whenever they had an eye on CUBE, it seemed CUBE had an eye on Doug. It was time to find out what this globe trotting soap maker knew. The trick was to get him when he was alone. This proved close to impossible for he always seemed to be in the company of either Fran or that giant wolf looking dog. This particular group of men were not dog people, nor were they cat folk. They actually had a fondness for pandas, but who doesn't?
The plan seemed perfect, wait for Doug and the wolf dog to return from their daily hike in the desert. Before the garage door closed they would roll under it undetected and pounce on Doug while the dog was still in the back of the Jeep and unable to attack them.
* * *
Douglas was in deep thought as he pulled into the garage. He was thinking about how bad guys on classic tv programs used to capture the heroes with nets all the time. Batman was one such hero that seemed to be especially susceptible to nets, him and that boy wonder.
Were nets truly that effective? Maybe he could rig one to catch that rascally CUBE? He decided to try one on Fran and Huxley later just to see. Still consumed by all these thoughts of nets and CUBEs while functioning on autopilot, he put the Jeep in park and turned the engine off. He then opened the door and hopped down off the running board but never touched the ground before everything went black.
* * *
The plan was going smoothly so far. The Jeep pulled into the garaged and the three men had rolled in before the door closed. Just as expected their mark's mark was exiting the driver's side when one of the men with ninja like agility had a rag dripping with chloroform over his mouth before his feet touched the ground. It's always great when you need not resort to plan b or even plan c...which usually involved a net.
* * *
Douglas came to in a small, dark, dingy hotel room. He was alone and tied to a dusty old chair close to a window. He could see he was a few floors up from the street below. Judging by the skyline, he deduced he was in LA. He quickly turned back to the room and scanned it. On the little table next to him was an ash tray with 5 mentholated cigarette butts ground down into it with blood red lipstick marks on the filters. Hmmmm, maybe this was a Jersey girl sorority initiation thing? No dice, wrong coast. Next to the ash tray was an old, scrappy pack of matches with a fading logo that read, Hotel Cecil. Oh great!
Then the room began to melt.
* * *
After a short conversation about his current predicament with a sympathetic, ornate antique lamp that suddenly metamorphosed into an ostrich before his droopy, dilated eyes, it was now clear as a crystal bauble to Doug that he had been, well, drugged.
What was wrong with people these days? Kidnapping, tying sweet, innocent folks to chairs, drugging them and then leaving them alone in hotel rooms with knobby antiques and flightless, wild birds? This was no way to treat a fellow human. But then, before too much could be made in Doug's imaginings of this crazy scene, there were suddenly three giant men surrounding him.
"Ok we can begin now." said the biggest of the giants calmly, and took a seat on the corner of the bed facing Doug. "What is your full name?" He asked sternly.
What was his full name? Was Doug speaking out loud or just thinking to himself? Lord, this was bad, especially without any cool jazz spinning on a turntable. He tried to train his focus on the mans eyes which transformed for a moment into gold fish, and then back to eyes, but in the head of a dragon. He decided to close his own eyes tightly and get deep.
"I want to answer you, I do, but the thing is I can't. I am no one of any real consequence, yet I am one with all, filled with consequences...this trivial thing you call a name...I mean, what is a name anyways? Just an agreed upon noise people make to refer to you." Doug spouted rather impressed with his command of College Party 101 Speak.
Upon hearing this the man, now somewhat agitated, abruptly slapped Doug across the cheek and then turned to the other two giant dragon men and asked them to try to find some jazz, preferably Miles, and a turntable.
"Lets try this again, what is your full name and what is your connection to the CUBE?" Asked the man in a more cool, measured tone.
"Ohhhh, is that what this is about?" Asked Doug trying to sound friendly and together. "Well, it's quite simple my friend, you see CUBE is love and love is CUBE." The man took another swing at Doug but this time our hero was ready, somewhat, and leaned back into the chair to dodge the blow, which he did, but was not quick enough for the back hand, which upon meeting his face busted his lower lip. This was not going as well as it could be.
But before another cheerful exchange could occur between Doug's face and the front or the back of this man's hand, the nostalgic ring of a landline telephone calling out for attention filled the room. Saved by the bell. One of the other men answered it.
"Yes Ms. Rose, the package is secure but I think we gave him too high of a dose, we may have to wait a couple more hours to get anything relevant out of the fool, all he can say now is nonsense and ow."
Douglas listened intently. Did he know a Ms. Rose? Come to think of it, the librarian in the town where he group up was a Ms. Rose...or was it Mrs? Maybe she was married to Axl? Focus, he had to try and focus, which is so very hard to do when drugged in a room full of strange things in a strange hotel somewhere in Los Angeles and out of practice. Might he still have a long overdue library book out? And what about the sorority girls, where do they play into all this? Oh dear! The man on the phone looked at Doug squinting as he listened to whoever was speaking on the other end. This was again indication that Doug was indeed thinking out loud. How was he ever going to escape if he kept this up? They all looked at him sharply after that last, unintentional, audible thought....damn it. He turned back to the guy on the bed just in time to take a direct blow between the eyes.
When Doug came to for the second time there was a dusty old phonograph on the table in front of him. Kinda Of Blue was going strong. Nice, he thought. He was once again alone and it was now well past twilight. It was dark and quiet outside the hotel room even on the street below. He couldn't move and his face hurt. Slowly the events from earlier came rushing back to him in rhythmic, pounding waves. He tried to take it all in once again. What he knew was this, he was being held against his will at the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles. His captors were three burly dudes, not actually dragons or goldfish eyed giants, and they answered to a voice on the phone referred to as a Ms. Rose. A criminal mastermind no doubt, who may also, possibly be, a relentless, irate librarian from his past. Things were not looking up and neither was he. Had he been, he would have seen CUBE hovering silently above him.
To Be Continued...