A funny story about a whimsical Wizard who sold Magic Perfumes
Go ahead, try them out!
“Well hello there! Come in, come in, don’t be shy. I don’t bite, I might wag my wand at you should you meddle but even that I’d deem harmless. Ah! I’m blabbering again, aren’t I? Old age seems to have gotten the better of me,” the short wizard adjusted his hat. “Welcome to my perfume shop!” he spread his arms out delightfully as a grand entrance act, accidently spilling a liquid that was held in his hand in a container.
“Oh rumples!” he looked down at the spilled contents. “I got so excited with such a wonderful face entering my shop I had forgotten that I had something in my hand. Please hold on a second, before it burns a hole through my counter I have to clean it up.” He mumbled the rest of the words to himself. “Raspberry tinkle whiskers never let go of me do they, darn those devious creatures.”
The wizard got off his stool to get something to clean it with. He was so short that his entire body disappeared behind the counter.
“Where did I leave my magical whimsical crinkle crumble towel I wonder? Ah, here it is,” he kept mumbling to himself.
The shop was cozy, well lit by a bit of daylight through the windows at the back and a few immortal candles that he had created himself. Just after the entrance were a few scattered seating arrangements, and at the back wall where the wizard was was a bar counter. Behind the counter, and throughout the wall were shelves full of perfume bottles of various colors. The bottles were in various shapes as well – they were all made of glass and all had different characteristics to them, but were all ultimately closed by a cork.
“Here we go,” he wiped the rest of the spilled liquid away. “And here we go,” he missed a spot. “And… here we go,” he missed another spot. “Oh my,” he looked at you worried. “Did I get some on your face too?” he pushed his hand at you over the counter with that deadly wet towel.
“Hah! It was just my imagination. I do like the smell though,” he breathed in the scent of that towel deeply. “Here, you try,” he passed you the towel.
Upon the first whiff of the towel, the suddenness of such a pleasant smell was so overwhelmingly magnificent that the whole shop disappeared right before your very eyes. To your left were gorgeous snowcapped mountains, to your right was a lush forest, and around you was a peaceful lake with bright fish swimming about. The warm and fresh air cuddled your skin like a lover. You were on a wooden path just centimeters above the lake that lead you to a light and polished wooden house. The house was open from all four sides, allowing that caressing warm wind to pull you inside while still being surrounded by the most gorgeous view of nature one could ever imagine.
Entering the house, the pleasant sweet smell of new wood tickled your senses. It was relaxing, and it induced smiles upon anyone who would be in this magical, yet simple environment.
In the middle of this small open house was a single table right in the center. A beautiful cup of mildly steaming tea was resting upon it.
Judging from its outside temperature, it was perfect to drink. Placing the cup closer to you, the warm smell of aromatic leaves, exotic berries, light citruses and flowery herbs surrounded your senses.
After a slow and entrancing sip, your body melted into the peace, quiet and fulfillment of this cup of tea.
And then the taste became… off. It was too sweet. Something was wrong. Blergh!
Your eyes jolted open. You were still holding the towel.
“Well? How is it?” the wizard had hopeful eyes. “I was brewing a perfume that was meant to instill peace and quiet onto whoever wore it or smelled it. I used loads of sandalwood, green tea leaves, aquatic tones, a touch of citrus for a bit of happy tones, mellow flowers and blackberries for an interesting twist. Though I do believe I added too many blackberries…”
He took the towel back.
“Anyway, anyhow, any who, any why, anywhere, where? Right here! Welcome again, to my Magic Potion shop! Wait, sorry, Magic Perfume shop! My magic potion shop closed a few years ago. They didn’t like my ideas of turning people into birds. I was only trying to help them experience flight is all!”
He adjusted his hat again.
“I am a wizard, and I am an alchemist. And I also happen to make some splendid perfumes! And one crazy night when I was drunk on thirteen shots of purple ashberry juice, I came up with an idea that actually worked!” He laughed in some sort of disbelief. “Could you imagine this? A perfume that smells amazing, but also gives you qualities and characteristics! Completely harmless, and best of all, temporary.” He mumbled to himself, “I think that’s why my potion shop closed, because the effects were not temporary… but anyways!” he returned to a loud and jovial voice.
“The art of alchemy and perfumes is quite splendid. All you do is you take the essential oils and perfume notes, and instead of using the alcohol base that it usually does, you use my secret alchemic base. And voila! You get to smell good and feel good at the same time! Depending on the perfume of course. I did once remember creating a black smelling perfume where I used burnt wood, blood, steel, moss, tiger teeth, rum, gunpowder and…” the old wizard looked up at you to make sure he wasn’t scaring you away.
“I think that is a story for another time. Would you like to try some more? I’m sure you’ll find them lovely!” he climbed down his stool, put up a ladder to one of the shelves and began fetching some other perfumes for you to try. “Let’s see here, Campfire Perfume, no, Ice Desert no, Coffee Madness probably not, Cherry Kiss… hm, why not? Oh I called this one Slap On The Face, mostly because when you smell it it feels like a slap on the face. It is quite pungent I suppose.”
The wizard climbed down the ladder, trying carefully not to drop any of his creations, and then plopped them down on the counter in front of you. There were three beautiful bottles, with an overexcited wizard ready to explain and present all of them.
“So! This one is called The Blue Waters. Give it a try, open the cork and just gently bring it closer and breathe it in, not too close now…”
The bottle looked like a watery spiral with a light blue liquid inside of it. Upon breathing in The Blue Waters, an entire wave of cool sea water was brought down upon you. You fell right off your chair, completely drenched with the hot sunlight warming your head and shoulders and the hot sand heating up your feet. The second wave was coming right at you, but was mellower and just pleasantly cooled you off. The mix of pleasant heat from the tropical beach and the cool watery waves was perfect. All that was missing was a tropical cocktail in your hand to fill your taste buds with flavor.
Oh wait, there it was, a beautiful crystal glass with a rainbowy orange drink in your hand, a swirly straw, an orange slice, and a little umbrella. The taste of bright orange and fruit covered your mouth, and just after you downed the first few sips another big and loud wave covered your body in its aquatic goodness.
“Hello?” the wizard woke you up. “You’ve been quiet for quite a while, is everything to your liking?” The Blue Waters perfume bottle was gone, he had taken it away. “You can imagine I used lots of fruits into it, and some salty and watery notes, as well as some warm notes using amber and cinnamon. I know it may not go well together in theory, but I really wanted that warm feeling while being cooled off by the water, do you know what I mean? Anyways, try this, try this!” he pushed the Cherry Kiss bottle towards you.
This bottle was a dark reddish pink hue, and was in the shape of a heart. Upon opening the cork and smelling it softly, you felt gentle hands grip the sides of your head as someone kissed you over the lips. That someone smelled of cherries.
“How is it?” the wizard grinned.
The kiss disappeared within seconds, but upon trying it again, the same insanely real feeling of an invisible cherry smelling person kissing you kept happening.
“I met a boy once that said, Mister Wizard, I have never kissed anyone before, and my friend Rosie won’t do it! So I told the boy, but little one, you seem to be about a mere seven years of age! Your time will come, won’t it?”
“No! Said the boy, I am seven and a half, and I want to know how it feels! Worry not, I told him, I will create a perfume that does just that! Anyways, you might be wondering what this third bottle does…”
He took away the Cherry Kiss and all of our attention was on this third bottle. It had a strange glow to it, almost like an aura. The bottle wasn’t in any specific shape, it was just a beautiful glass container with a cork on it and a deep glowing purple liquid inside.
“This perfume…” the wizard sounded intense. “Is very special…” he took long dramatic pauses in between his words. His eyes shifted from the bottle, then back at you, then back to the bottle. His hands then went down under the counter.
“Because it is not a perfume at all!” he placed two small cups on the bar. “It is purple ashberry juice, would you like to have a drink with me or is it too early? I dare say it does intensify the perfume smelling processing,” he laughed menacingly while pouring the purple liquid into the cups. Then he took a warm-up shot and downed it in one go, immediately pouring himself the second one. “Cheers,” he downed the second one too. “It tastes like purple juice, worry not.”
Smelling the intense purple liquid made you feel dizzy. A small sip of the bitter drink burned down your throat as you swallowed hard, preferring not to take any more.
While the wizard went to get another bottle for you to smell, a small purple fairy flew by your face.
“Mimsy, you rascal old cat, still curious of my customers are you?”
A black cat jumped onto the counter and made its way towards you. It had… a pumpkin for a head.
“No, you’re not that drunk,” said the wizard. “Maybe drunk enough to see purple fairies, but Mimsy was part of my little pumpkin experiment back in the day.”
You gently pet the cat’s pumpkin head. Surely enough, it was literally just a pumpkin with a cute jack o’ lantern face and cat ears coming out from the top.
“Now, I am by no means a creative wizard, not at all. All of these strange things around me, hic, are part of my experiments. So, they are either all accidents, or they are orders from my customers. Like this skull here,” he brought closer a small skull and placed it in front of me. “Someone asked me to make a talking skull, so I thought, why not? And instead of making it talk I was only able to make it scream. You don’t want to know how that sounds,” he pulled it away.
“My customers usually come to me and say things like, oh dear wizard, oh almighty strong, powerful, handsome and good looking wizard, I know of your superior omnipotence and ability to create absolutely anything in the world, so could you help out a poor soul – why are you looking at me like that? Yes they actually said that! Now where was I…” he looked like he was falling asleep.
Surely enough, he fell asleep.
You played with the cat for a few minutes until…
“So then they asked me, how is it that baked strawberry wings taste so good? And I said to them, strawberries don’t have wings, you must be out of your mind!” He adjusted his wizard hat. “Then they said, but Mister Wizard, we did not say strawberry wings, we said strawberry things. Oh, strawberry things, that would make more sense. Ah! That was not what I was talking about, was it? Oh look,” his gaze shifted aimlessly around the room, “purple fairies,” he giggled.
He took out a perfume bottle minutes later, smelled it, came back to his senses and placed it back. “Ahh, the beautiful sobering perfume, made out of wine, rum, beer, fermented cloud seeds, ashberry juice and a reverse potion to reverse the effects. Now then, I believe I was about to tell you my whole life’s story, but I don’t think you are here for that. If you would like to buy a perfume from here, this one only costs two gold coins and will be the key to all your troubles!”
He gave you a clear perfume bottle. There was liquid inside, with absolutely no color to it. You examined the solid and heavy bottle with robust yet smooth edges to it.
The pumpkin cat was sleeping on the bar counter to your right, and the wizard was completely normal now.
“Go on, smell it!” he clapped his hands quickly a few times.
The smell was pure, white, clean, elegant, but most importantly, clean. It blurred all of the dirt in front of you, all of the extra details and removed all feelings of fatigue or drowsiness. You were clearly sitting upon a stool in front of the wizard, there was clearly a cat to your right, you were clearly thinking these things, and everything seemed to be so clear that in fact your vision became brighter.
“How is it?” the wizard asked, his voice way louder than before. The vivid clarity of this pure white smelling perfume was almost overwhelming.
“I think you may have smelled it a little bit too close, you look a little bit entranced,” he said. “Here, smell this, it will reset you.” He gave you a simple jar of coffee beans. It made the smell go away instantly, reset your nose, and you were back to your old self.
“Sometimes people come to me and say things like, I don’t know what to do in life, or I don’t know how I should go about this, or that, or this, or that, and so I created this, and gave them that. It uses a lot of iris! And some ylang ylang and vanilla flowers to help make it smell creamier and not overbearingly clean.” He put the bottle aside.
“In fact I do remember this one person was working heavily on a project. I believe they were making some sort of steam engine, the first of its kind! And so on the day of its completion, he really needed exactly this, to help him see what was right and what was wrong. He wore it, became incredibly aware, inspired his whole team with his incredible aura of getting the job done, and surely enough around six hours later just before the thing was complete, the perfume wore off and he had no idea what he was doing. Heh, he came to me and complained that the effects wore off too soon. I told him that I warned him that it lasts for only six hours! He should have brought the bottle along with him or something, but he didn’t want it to break so he left it at home. An angry customer he was.”
The wizard got off his stool and walked off into the corner of the room. There was a relaxing crackling fireplace in the wall to your left. Inside the fireplace was a hanging iron kettle.
“Would you like some berry tea? Do not worry! You will not see any fairies, only tea, nothing else.” He took out two new cups, infused some aromatic tea into it, and in a moment poured some delightful tea. It had a dark rosy color to it, like a loosened up black tea.
“Then there was this other customer, she was a woman who was madly in love with some prince charming of the lands. She asked me to give her a perfume that would make the man fall in love with her. That was easy, surely enough. So I conjured up a perfume full of rose, cherry, amber, lavender, white flowers a bit of musk to make it smell personal. And oh did she love it. She loved it so much she swooned right on my floor! Yes, right over there,” he pointed his finger over your shoulder at his floor.
“So, confidently, she applied it and went over to her prince charming in some pretty dress, and in an instant the man proposed to her and would not let go of her no matter what. She was his, and he was hers. They had a romantic time dancing through the forest and he was absolutely addicted to her! What do you think happened then? The perfume wore off, and he called off his proposal. She came to me in tears. I felt sorry for her, but I did tell her, perfumes are like makeup. They will fall in love with you, but as soon as the makeup comes off they see the real you, so one must always be careful!”
The wizard had a few pleasant sips of his tea, and you followed at his pace. The cat stretched beside you, demanding more pets. You ran your fingers through its silky warm body, but were not too sure on how to handle the kitty jack o’ lantern head.
In the meantime, the wizard brought you another perfume bottle. This one was in the shape of a snowman with a small cork on its head. It had a deep golden liquid in it.
“These perfumes are my favorite to make. Because people buy them for their smell and feel, not because they want to achieve a certain thing with it. This one has vanilla, cardamom, cinnamon, firewood, a bit of warm tobacco, apples, amber and cocoa powder.”
Upon smelling the extremely Christmas wintery cozy aroma, the room changed again. Instead of a barstool, you were upon a warm, soft leather couch, wearing a cashmere sweater with a purring cat on your lap. In front of you was a crackling warm fireplace. To your left were enchanting story books, and to your right was a delicious cup of hot cocoa. The smell of that cocoa enticed you to have a few sips, and that warmed your soul. Outside was a snowy night, but inside your cozy house you could sit and do absolutely nothing all night while resting with your cat and your hot cocoa.
You kissed your cat’s head and placed it to the side, getting up and stretching. There was a beautiful Christmas tree in the corner that gave a bright pine smell to the room along with the burning wood. On the table by the tree was a basket of apples. You got up just to get one of those apples and bite into it, cleansing your mouth of hot cocoa in that single bite. Yet somehow the taste of apple went well right after a hot cocoa, and so you took another sip of it.
The fluffy warm rugs beneath you were good enough to sleep on. You sat by your fireplace on the rug, watching the fire flicker while the white snow hit your window on the other side.
“And so I quite enjoy making those the most,” the wizard woke you up from your illusion once more. “I can’t say I use them myself that much, it is mostly a hobby. It is quite appealing though, isn’t it? To have all your problems solved by some sort of magic potion? People will always pay for quick and easy solutions, no one wants to actually go to the beach or climb a mountain to breathe the fresh air, they’d rather the beach or mountain come to them itself. There was however this customer… He wanted all of the perfumes to himself. I allowed him to buy as many as he wished, but I repeated my warnings towards him not to combine them together or overuse them, for the effects would be catastrophic!! Well, not that bad, but I did try to make it sound bad just to discourage him. He would not listen, he came back to my shop weeks later claiming that his life was ruined because of me. So I took a little sprinkle of something and threw it in his face, making him forget everything that had happened between us. I suppose the moral there was that too much good, isn’t too good. Now if you’ll excuse me for just a moment,” he got off his stool and walked into another room.
While the wizard was gone, it was enticing to think that you could just walk up to that wall shelf full of these magical bottles and each one would make you experience something new and unique, something you had never experienced before. But that wasn’t even the point of them, the point of a perfume was to boost your confidence, or traits, or anything, and it was all achieved through the powerful tool of smells. Even emotions like death or birth, one could bet the wizard was capable of creating something like that.
“Here we are,” he came back with a book. “This book was written by me,” he opened it in between you and himself. “It covers all of the notes on what the smells are, what the characteristics are, which ones you can pair together and which ones you’re better off not pairing together. Like here,” he placed his finger on a diagram. “Sweet smells, they call them gourmand smells, makes you want to eat that smell because it either smells like candy or cake or cookies, or even steak if you’re into that. I once made a perfume that made babies smell delicious and the mother ended up eating it. Kidding! The baby ended up eating the mother.”
“So in sweet gourmand smells, you’re welcome to pair most cooking ingredients together, or anything edible for that matter, but if you end up putting dark woods or perhaps salty sea water, then the smell will simply seem confused and incomplete. There are no rules of course, only theoretical guidelines. One such perfume did not follow these guidelines, and here was the result…”
He went over to the shelf and picked up a small bottle. It was smaller than all of them, about the size of a thumb.
“Give it a whiff, what do you think?”
After breathing in the aquatic green looking scent, the perfume shop disappeared again. You were in a forest. There were birds echoing soundly through the trees, and some sunlight broke through. There was a heavy smell of earthy pine, a few wafts of berries from the nearby bushes, and a deep earthiness from the mushrooms growing nearby. It was perfectly well balanced, and even the weather and temperature made you feel great.
Then your feet felt wet up to your ankles. It was very wet. Looking down, the whole forest was covered with water. The water kept rising up until your waist, but it was a strange sort of blue sea water with fish swimming around. Cute little gold fish swam in circles around you as you tried to make sense of the terrain.
The sea water was not pleasant. There was not enough sunlight to make the cool water feel good, and not enough sweetness in the air to tone down the saltiness. It mixed awkwardly with the pine and was simply not supposed to be there.
“Quite a strange effect, isn’t it? I thought I had something, but the only way for it to make sense was to turn the water murky and green, thus making it smell like a swamp. And I can’t imagine anyone but ogres who would like to smell like swamp.”
He pulled the bottle away again.
“I made one that smells like spiders! Would you like to try?”
You obviously gave him a big fat no.
“Shame, the smell of spiders, or the feeling of creepy crawlies was made as a form of revenge on a bully. The little boy asked me to make it. I ended up using real spiders in there. Yikes! That must have been awful,” he flipped through his pages a little bit more.
“I believe my final goal would be to filter out all the good and bad perfumes, and let the world do with them as they please. You know, release them into the wild, as they say, but hopefully only with positive effects. My most sold perfume is actually usually bought by soldiers and knights, so that they may be braver when they head out into battle. My second most sold one is the romantic rose based one, to help couples fall in love more. Are you sure you don’t want to try the Slap On The Face? It quite wakes you up in the morning, heh! So does the coffee one though.”
The wizard continued flipping through the pages, it became quiet for a moment as he went from much simpler formulas into more complex ones. His facial expressions kept changing with every page, and his body froze when he landed on one peculiar chapter of his book. It had lots of diagrams and unreadable symbols that made up a structure or formula. The wizard took a particularly long glance at this page.
“I did make this perfume once,” he nodded to himself. “Yes, I did, it made me feel quite interesting indeed. Yes, very interesting. I felt quite new, quite unique, quite something… indescribable. Here, why don’t you try it for yourself?” he got up and grabbed it from a hidden shelf under the counter. It was pure and clear again, in a small crystal bottle with angel wings on it. He popped out the cork, and passed it closer to you.
“Take a long deep breath, and see how you feel.”
The scent felt new and unique. It wasn’t too bright, nor was it too dark. It was specific, and very reminiscent of a certain nostalgia. The potion shop disappeared once more, and you found yourself with a device in front of you, reading these words. You have returned back to your real world, your surroundings being comfortable and recognizable. The perfume instilled a sense of reality back into you. You knew exactly where you were, who you were, where you were from, what you were wearing and more. You were about to look around yourself before the wizard spoke again, breaking you out of that thought.
“Ah, never mind, that one is probably incomplete anyways,” he took the perfume bottle away and hid it back in its drawer. “Another shot of purple ashberry juice?” he grinned. “And perhaps it is time you you finally tell me what sort of perfume you would want for yourself? There’s a smell for everything! And it’s never not a time to smell divine too.