Mol (mollyringle) wrote,

Scenting the Greek gods, or What Perfume Would Hades Wear?

In fragrance-loving forums, a common game is to post a photo of someone--perhaps a celebrity, perhaps a selfie or friend of a forum member--and ask everyone to scent them; that is, choose a perfume for them based on what they look like.

Now, very few people are going to care about this, but for my own entertainment, I'm going to do this with the main characters of my Greek mythology series (Persephone's Orchard and its sequels). Even if you haven't read it, you likely know the gods from other sources. (There's this writer named Homer, and this other one named Riordan, and...anyway.) Mind you, in ancient times, none of these perfumes were available and people would actually have been wearing scents made from herbs and spices and the like. Apparently the Minoans used ingredients like mint, coriander, and fennel for the purpose, for example. But we'll ignore anachronism and use modern scents anyway.

Caveat: I can of course only assign scents that I have personally smelled. So that limits things. But feel free to suggest others if you have ideas.

I'll stick to the Greek god names and not use the characters' reincarnated names, just to avoid spoilers and confusion. So:

Hades: Black by Comme des Garçons. A clever idea for perfume, and one that makes me think "god of the Underworld": they based it on things black in color--tar, pepper, incense, smoke, licorice, etc. At first I found it strange, but the spice mix grew on me to the degree that I came around to finding this scent comforting and sexy. And definitely dark and masculine.

Persephone: A few possibilities come to mind. One is Melograno Selvatico by I Profumi di Firenze, because its name translates to "woody pomegranate," though to my nose it's mostly a clean fruity-floral that isn't particularly pomegranate-ish. Another is Féminité du Bois by Serge Lutens, a lovely natural feminine skin scent with the suggestion of forest, fruits, and flowers behind it. And another is L'Ombre dans L'Eau by Diptyque: a simple but melancholy rose and blackcurrant--because gardens and a "shadow in the water" do sound rather kidnapping-myth, right?

Hermes: Conveniently, there is a perfume house called Hermès already, so naturally I think of their scents for our dear trickster. There are lots to choose from, but the ones I like best (for him and for me) are the urbane and super-sexy Bel Ami, or the somewhat more rugged Rocabar.

Hekate: Got to go with beautiful mysterious incense on this one. There are lots of awesome incense scents, but the one that makes me think of Hekate is L'Artisan's Passage d'Enfer. It has the cool dank stone of a cathedral (or an Underworld), a lightweight frankincense, and a contemplative and elusive quality throughout.

Dionysos: Ideally something wine-scented, of course. But that actually isn't easy to find in the perfume world, or at least I'm coming up mostly blank on it. So I'll look instead at Dionysos' rock-star-party-god aspect and scent him in the naughty-sweaty Eau d'Hermès. As someone on one of those fragrance forums said, it's suggestive of Jim Morrison's leather pants, so that's pretty Dionysian.

Aphrodite: Ah, now this is difficult. My instinct says she's got a huge perfume collection, so she can smell enticing in a thousand different ways. In my books I do say at one point that her reincarnated self smells of a smoky vanilla perfume, and one that fits the bill for that is Smell Bent's Incensed. But yeah. I think, you name a sexy scent, she can smell like it.

Poseidon and Amphitrite: Oltre by Laura Tonatto. This perfume smells like ocean in a very real-life and non-perfume kind of way: salt on chilly stones, seaweed, kelp, wind-torn scrubby pines on the shore, the whole deal. It may actually give the impression of too cold an ocean, more like our Washington state beaches than the Mediterranean, but until I visit the Mediterranean and smell it firsthand, this idea will have to stand in.

That will do for now. And, of course, Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab has perfumes for all kinds of deities, including several of the above. I just haven't tried them yet. 
Tags: fragrance, mythology, persephone's orchard

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.