Scary Scents to Wear in the Dark is Darkling Nostalgia Perfected
I was probably too young for Scary Stories to Read in the Dark. Let’s get that out of the way.
When my sister finished singing “The Hearse Song,” to which she inexplicably knew the tune, I was left paralyzed with vivid imaginings of worms playing cards on my own dead face. When the boy in “Me Tie Dough-ty Walker!” tries to stop his dog from answering Lynchee kinchy colly molly dingo dingo! to the disembodied, vaguely Irish dirge in the distance, I pictured trying to restrain Boris, our beloved Border Collie, from scream-singing strange words to summon death. And then, you know, the dog dies. From fright.
I was probably too young for Scary Stories to Read in the Dark. But somehow the Scholastic staple informed my sensibilities about horror, death and storytelling, and installed in my young brain an appreciation for folklore I would carry my whole life. I owe a lot to that thin paperback filled with Stephen Gammell’s most iconic artwork.
If there’s an indie perfumer ideally suited to weave sensory stories and tap into our collective darkling sensibilities, it’s Strange Fire & Fumery. Purveyor of richly themed (and richly-made!) incense, perfume, and candles, Jinx Strange has unveiled a new collection of 9 perfumes guaranteed to delight darklings of any age: Scary Scents to Wear in the Dark. Even more amazing, Jinx has partnered with tattooist and fine artist Jen Christina to provide Gammell-inspired illustrations to go along with the collection, the first sample of which we see is the Gammell-fied version of the Fumery’s unique death’s head moth logo (originally designed by Alex MoeHagen). If that is the quality of homage we can expect, my excitement for this project has increased ten-billionfold.
The first release is a 3-dram preorder set for the first three scents in the series: The White Satin Evening Gown, The White Wolf, and The Hearse Song. For $20, you get: 3 1-dram perfume vials, a postcard, a Gammell-fied Fumery moth magnet, and a Scary Stories tribute bookmark by Jen Christina.
Based on the scent descriptions and notes alone, I am fully prepared to relive the horrors of my youth. Maybe I’ll pay my sister a visit. For old time’s sake.
From the product description:
The White Satin Evening Gown
She danced the night away in a dead woman’s dress.
A pawnbroker’s smile, antique lace dusted with vanilla musk, heady perfume, sweat and youth and dancing under the dizzy lights, the dizzy lights, the dizzy lights. A touch of the grave. Tahitian vanilla, ripe red currant, a spritz of jasmine on the neck, Egyptian musk, a pinch of grave dirt.
The White Wolf
The hunter broke an oath. The oath came back to break him.
The frost-touched Black Forest of Germany, the huntsman’s leathers, vengeful musk and a ghostly white top note that will materialize from the dark and fade like a promise. Spruce, leather, black pepper, a blend of Mediterranean and Northern European musks, vetiver.
The Hearse Song
Don’t you ever laugh as the hearse goes by, for you may be the next to die.
A glossy black hearse, a polished wooden casket, rich velvet curtains and a spray of funerary flowers. Who is inside? Is it you? Smoky patchouli, vetiver, fresh lilies and moonflower, oak and pomegranate.