APPOINTMENT AT TYBURN ~ Eau Sans Pareil by Penhalagon’s

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Midnight bells rang far off in the midst of London’s slumber. Wary and alone Maryanne Stewart pushed herself to walk faster past Marble Arch toward her home on Connaught Square. She was almost there.

“Stand and deliver, Madame!”

Startled by the demand in a rich ringing baritone, Maryanne turned in the fog to find that there was no one there, she was completely alone.

marble arch midnight

The street lights on Bayswater Road glowed like warm fuzzy fireflies in the thick hanging fog. The light they shed barley made it to the sidewalk below them.  So thick was the murky night that she could barely see across the road to Hyde Park. She shivered and pulled her muffler closer to her chin and turned to walk on.

As she crossed Edgeware Road to the little traffic island a vaporous figure  emerged before her in a swirling black cap and a three cornered hat. If sky blue were flames he carried them within his eyes.  What burned there was all that was visible of his face above the black silk kerchief that covered his nose and mouth. He held two Pirlet flintlock pistols aimed right at her heart. Maryanne’s mouth flapped open to emit only a chilled gasp.

 Dick Turpin 3bw

The man took two steps toward her, lowered his guns and laughed. “I will do thee no harm Milady, nor shall I take thy coin purse or jewels. Such beauty as you hold within your face makes a beggar of any man you look upon. Believe it honest and true, I have never clapped eyes upon, nor am I likely ever again to behold such a woman as you in this life or the next.” His devilish eyes fell to her mouth. “What I will take with great pleasure and at any cost be it gold or the hangman’s noose is a kiss from those perfect lips.” He doffed his hat and gave her a courtly bow.

Maryanne looked him up and down then narrowed her eyes. “Get out of my way!”  She took a swipe at him with her tote bag and to her surprise it sliced though him creating a rolling wave of vapor which slowly and amazingly found its way back into his form  She looked from side to side to see if she were truly alone and the only person on the street to witness this apparition. A buss trundled past with only the driver on board.

The man pulled his kerchief down around his neck to reveal a face unsurpassed in the realm of male splendor. He leveled his gaze upon her and gave her a dazzling smile. “If not a kiss, then what say you to a midnight ride with me on the back of my horse Black Bess?”

“Look here Mr. Ghost, I am tired and I want to go home. Besides hasn’t anyone told you it is not only very rude to frighten people but also quite out of fashion? Now if you will excuse me?” She stepped boldly forward and walked right through him. Half a block down the street she looked back. He was gone.

Along Stanhope Place Maryanne heard the clip clop of horses hoofs. She turned her head slowly to the left. There following along on the street was the apparition and its horse, the huge beast snorted and its eyes glowed with the banked embers of hell. Black Bess no doubt.  Once again the specter doffed his hat and bowed from the saddle. Maryanne sighed and turned her nose into the air and walked on. Black Bess and her master kept pace. When she reached number 20 Connaught Square she unlocked the front door and stepped inside. As she shut the door on the street she saw that he was still astride his horse in the middle of the street, watching her house with those eyes. Incredible eyes they were she had to admit with a slight shiver and a smile to herself. That night she kept the lamp on beside her bed.

By morning she had convinced herself that the entire thing had been a dream. On her way to Selfridges for a bit of shopping  she came to the traffic island where she had seen the ghost the night before. As she waited with the morning crowd for the light to change an odd feeling came over her. She turned around. In the center of the island there was a plaque.  She had steeped over hundreds of times  without ever reading it. Round and set flush with the sidewalk it simply read: “Site of Tyburn Tree”. She covered her mouth with both hands in shock. Of course, Tyburn, the place where criminals where hung in the 17th and 18th centuries.  Among the many who swung from the three cornered gallows was the Highwayman who rode a horse called Black Bess.  What was his name? Her mind reeled as she shut her eyes and his face appeared once more before her. Of course! His name was Dick Turpin the most famous Highwayman of them all. And on this very spot, April 7, 1739 by His Majesty George II order Dick Turpin was hung untill dead.

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For the rest of her life when she walked alone Dick Turpin always gave Maryanne Stewart safe passage home. Whether she noticed him or not, she never made mention to anyone.

 dick trupin bw

*****

Olfactory artist, Beverley Bayne’s  2011 creation of Eau Sans Pareil for Penhalagon’s is sparkling if fleeting cocktail for the end of summer in a haunted garden. A watery right bright effusion of Aldehydes open the composition with a basket filled with fruits. Bitter Neroli meets up with the sweetly tart Kumquats; Mandarin oranges do their thing with the help of a whispering pineapple. More whispers of the sun on a southern slid toward autumn is found with a little cypress, pink pepper and a very light honey sweet Tagete flower.  All of this is just a momentary introduction to a great big boisterous raspberry. The opening is promising for those who are looking for a light fruity Eau de Toilette that acts more like cologne, a beautiful melancholy ghost to follow you from summer into fall.

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In the heart the fragrance it moves from the fruit garden to the flower garden and in this transition it drops very close to the skin. Maybe too close to the skin for some.  Light lily of the valley, a delicate ylang-ylang bring soft caresses to a sleepy Jasmine. There is a touch of spice from clove and tangy thick Liquorice that gild a lovely late rose of summer. Under this rose there is a grounding earthy orris root to remind you that all things must return to the earth. It swirls around nicely and then evaporates like a ghostly ectoplasm to the dry down.

Here there is the haunting in the dying garden. The spirits of Patchouli waft over a dry, dry vetiver. Tendrils of vanilla tease a shy spectral Amber as together they float over a parched Cedarwood. Laudanum and Oakmoss are shrouded in a ghostly musk.  The sprit of the fragrance crosses over to the next world at about the fourth hour.

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As an Aromatic Fougere is it very soft and pleasing. I find it to be too wispy for my taste but still lovely in what it does. It is sold as a masculine fragrance but pushing that nonsense aside this fragrance would work well on a woman who is looking for a fruity floral that is not in the least bombastic but rather hauntingly beautiful.

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Eau Sans Pareil by Penhalagon’s  3 gold stars ***

(Why only three gold stars? Beautiful as it is, like summer Eau Sans Pariel fades much too quickly. )

 My sample of Eau Sans Pariel came with my August Olfactif delivery. I am so impressed with this sample service from every aspect, themes (August is all about the last days of summer) packaging and their wonderful website and blog complete with interviews with the perfumers. I encourage you to try Olfactif, a must for any perfume aficionado.

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18 Comments

  1. Dear Ianier Smith,

    I have really enjoyed reading your new post APPOINTMENT AT TYBURN. And I am impressed by the way you describe perfume. I just have one comment on your post. It is about the line:

    > “Look here Mr. Ghost, I am tried and I want to go home. Besides hasn’t anyone told you it is not only very rude to frighten people but also quite out of fashion? >

    I think that you mean in this line the word ‘tired’ instead of ‘tried’.

    Kind regards, Felicia Bakkers

    Op 25 aug. 2013 om 19:45 heeft SCENTS MEMORY het volgende geschreven:

    > >

    • Thank you Felicia! I was very tired when I wrote that last night! So lovely to have you here.
      L

  2. Delightful, a bedtime story and a ghost story, and a scent I have to try – a wispy, hauntingly beautiful floral. Oh yeah! Or, should I say, “Stand and deliver!” Love from your sleepy Jasmine 😉

    • Madame, you are the most beautiful of the sleepy jasmine in the garden of my heart.

  3. I shall be thinking of this story when I go looking at Penhalagon this weekend, thank you for once again putting a smile on my face.

    • Oh I do hope you find something of Penhalagon’s to your taste. It is my deepest pleasure to have aided in putting a smile on your face.

  4. What a very fine story, Lanier, as per, well, always. A romantic and chivalerous ghost…le sigh!

    But oh dear, am I horribly embarrassing myself by admitting that “Stand and Deliver” by…Adam Ant (!!) is now running through my head? Ah the 80s.

    • Why thank you Heather! Oh what a treat to revisit Adam Ant and “Stand And Deliver!”. I had quite forgotten that song. What a Dandy he was.

  5. Loved this wonderful piece! Many thanks.

  6. Thanks Lanier,
    Lovely as always. Boy, you can write.
    Have you heard the new No Doubt/Gwen Stefani version of Stand and Deliver? EAR WORM!!!
    Portia xx

  7. Dearest Lanier
    A wonderful new ghost story for my city… but how could our lady be so sure it was Mr Turpin? For he was one of many gentleman-robbers-of-the-road who ended their time legs swinging like pendulums from the Tyburn tree.
    Perhaps she will never really know who it was, now that would be a mystery!
    As for the scent, it is light, and elegant and, yes, sadly, rather fleeting, Though with the current vogue for cologne perhaps it could be quite the thing for after bathing or before bed?
    Thank you as always dear friend for another most fragrant tale.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • Ah but you see dear Dandy,,, the ghost reveals his identity by the name of his famous horse, Black Bess! thank you as ever for being of such stalwart support of my little tales and smelly reviews.
      L

      • Dearest Lanier
        Why of course he does!
        But I wonder, did Black Bess ride on without her master?
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

  8. Hello – I’m here by way of “Lost in Arles” and to say I’m thrilled to find this blog is truly the proverbial understatement. Was expecting just the delish thoughts of a few favorite blogs but took an unexpected turn by find Sentsmemory.

    A question – Just recently fell for Il Bacio (and a close 2nd – Montecantini); however, the Borghese perfumes seem to be in a state of flux and it’s been difficult to find out anything (other than the purchase of the Borghese name by G. Mosbacher). The scent is lovely and really wanted to keep with it a bit (besides, we’re leaving for Italy next month and it somehow seemed apropos). Do you have any idea what’s going on and perhaps have suggestions as to what may be another perfume along the same scent lines (is that even a term?)? I’ve learned so much in the last 30 minutes and am going to branch out and try some perfumes from House of Sillage (for me this is a big deal as I’ve worn the same perfume for years before trying Il Bacio).

    Again, simply awesome site and reading your current post was a treat (whether it was “tried” or “tired”)! Thanks.

    • Hello Margaret! I am happy you found my blog and are enjoying it. You know I am not an expert and am just learning my way too with perfumes. So I can’t answer your question. BUT you might try The Perfumed Dandy. http://theperfumeddandy.com He has a pretty wonderful blog and I am sure can guide you in this. Have a wonderful time in Italy, my favorite place to visit on earth!

      • You’re doing an awesome job! Thanks for the info and I’ll go to the site today. Have got you bookmarked and look forward to reading you blogs every week. MMR

  9. […] Perfumed Plots Holiday Reading on Scents Memory Madam Pageau at the Café Rajdulari Goes to Bollywood A Letter from Versailles Appointment at Tyburn […]


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