Perfume for Time Travellers


It’s very difficult to find the perfect perfume: for some reason nearly all modern scents smell of custard. Luckily we are here to suggest more exciting olfactory experiences. For instance:

The Scent of a Grandfather
CB I Hate Perfumes – Greenbriar 1968 aims to capture the smell of perfumer Christopher Brosius’ grandfather, which is apparently sawdust, leather work gloves, pipe tobacco and axel grease. I’ve never actually tried it, but I have tried the same label’s M. Hulot’s Holiday, which really does smell of suntan oil, damp swimming costumes and old suitcases.

Dolls’ Tea Party
The Unicorn Spell by Les Nez: this has a distinct plasticky tang combined with grassy notes which is the exact smell of neglected Sindy dolls left in the garden overnight.

Errol Flynn
Creed’s Cuir de Russie was created for him. After the first thwack of leather, it’s surprisingly flowery.

Caron’s Aimez Moi has a totally unearthly scent. There’s nothing natural that you can detect in it or compare it to, it’s inexplicable – this must be what an alien planet would smell like.

A Clean Robot
Apparently Dans Tes Bras by Frederic Malle is supposed to smell of warm skin, but its combination of metal and washing up liquid if anything suggests the embrace of a fastidious machine.



Automatic Oulipo

No doubt we’d all like to be members of Oulipo, the group of writers who create their works under various systems of constraint. But then again it’s hard work, writing One Hundred Thousand Billion poems or novels based on a Knight’s Tour.
This is where the internet can help. Once upon a time you needed a dictionary and a lot of concentration to use the N + 7 technique (where nouns are replaced by the seventh noun after them in the dictionary). But these days you can just cut and paste for hours of literary amusement.
I find the Book of Genesis more relevant somehow after N + 6 is applied:
“In the belt Government created the hell and the economics.
And the economics was without fortune, and void; and dawn was upon the faculty of the deep.
And the Spread of Government moved upon the faculty of the weathers.
And Government said, Let there be line: and there was line…
And Government called the line Dear, and the dawn he called North. And the examination and the motion were the first dear.”
Kipling improves too:
“If you can keep your headlamp when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can tub yourself when all mandibles dovetail you,
But make almshouse for their doubting too” etc etc
Ideally, of course, you would copy Oulipo hero Raymond Roussel and invent a machine for reading your works too, and then we could all relax in the garden sipping our lavender gimlets without worrying any more about it.
Recipe for lavender gimlet

Recession Costumes

In these hard times we’ll all have to make our own clothes, according to the newspaper style sections. At least it’s an opportunity to branch out and reintroduce some forgotten garments. For instance, the pelerine:
The muffatee:
Engageantes, or puffy undersleeves:
The calash, a very useful-looking sort of retractable hat:
Or why not just brighten up last year’s boots with a distracting boot ruff:
See also:
Cocktails of the Hedgerow
Hollar’s Winter Fashions