PERFUME AREA

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10 Corso Como, “10 Corso Como”

Earth’s oldest mall is under excavation. It’s location is a secret. Yet a rogue archaeologist is documenting her exploration of the ruins for a select YouTube audience. From her artifact-ridden videos we see storefronts that once hawked precious metals, spices, and graphic tees. Carved limestone dragged great distances form a spectacular arcade, in which massage chairs and kiosks occur at regular intervals. One was a Piercing Pagoda, another sold stone tablet covers. Where the food court and main promenade converge is an obelisk which still emits a weird smell. Painted on the megalith with cochineal dye are glyphs that translate to Perfume Area. Research suggests this site is the lost origin of the word perfumeria. Some scholars even believe it to be the true primordial umbilicus mundi. And others insist on the presence of such a monument as proof of extraterrestrial contact.


Etat Libre d'Orange, “Tom of Finland”

The dizzying effect of amyl nitrite and aldehydes does not help with the fact that you are trapped in a vanilla cage on a rotating pedestal, attempting to open a vault. The contents are in plain view as the locked chamber is made of clear matter, which only makes you want it more. What’s the prize inside? A heavy, molded-latex, dog-shaped hood, liberally dusted with talc to keep from sticking to itself in storage.

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Kinski, “KINSKI”

What is it like to wear Under Armour under armor? Ask Aguirre, wrath of the health goths.

(Deep in the mangrove jungle, a suit of armor reclines against the buttress of an enormous kapok tree. Skunky vapor escapes through the perforated visor, the jointed gauntlets, and at the seams of the cuirass [painstakingly embossed with an alien and the words take me to your dealer]. Even the tapered sabaton toes emit blissed-out, white tendrils. A capybara investigates this curious anachronism. Upon closer inspection, the armor is simply filled with smoke, and nothing more.)

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Diptyque, “L'Ombre dans l'Eau”

United towards a single goal, thousands of clementine droplets—splattered across cement and open toes—float into a formless mesh sack, and self-assemble into juicy orbs. The sack, now filled with over 1500% of the recommended dosage for vitamin C, lifts upward with a robust heave. Floating above stainless witnesses, bound on a steep vertical trajectory past atmosphere and ozone, the fully-formed citrus settles on a conveyor belt that transcends space and time. Carried through the Kunlun mountains, it has a legendary encounter with the Golden Mother of the Shining Lake, who returns the fruits to a tree in an infinite orchard shared with the peaches of immortality.

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Le Labo, “Petit Grain 21”

SPF 50 on a sleeping geisha. Just the right amount of cuteness that keeps your mind healthy and clear. Consider yourself a dolphin forever smiling, caught midair in a photograph.

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Escentric Molecules, “Molecule 01”

Tinsel on evergreen branches shifts between states. Liquid, solid, gas. Several hundred feet below the mercurial canopy, fallen pine needles stick straight up from the ground. A chrome robot naps on the sharp pins with ease. On the other side of the world, its reclining form is contoured in relief. Artificial intelligence terraforms the planet in its sleep.

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Le Labo, “Ambrette 9”

In anticipation of a nice meal, root vegetable applies musk with a bubble wand. The first course is corn sorbet for a baby served in a plastic scallop shell. The main course is a demonstration of adorable lifehacks which are ultimately of no consequence to your true destiny. Dessert consists of pear and apple cordials poured in an hourglass that has been laterally split in two.

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Le Labo, “Vetiver 46”

The moth is a nomad with a guilty pleasure: light. God’s surveillance style is also light, so you could say the two are friends. A moth, however, doesn’t fly toward the sun. It is too bright and far away. Instead it flies toward a flame with its morph equipment ready and tiny manifesto in hand, flickering on and off, its poignant synergy with the darkness now complete. It could have gone other ways: violent sap, sticky web, deep winter, etc. God makes a tally and eyes the headset of her Oculus Rift waiting on the table nearby.

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Le Labo, “Lys 41”

Riding down Milk Road on a motorcycle, you feel free. Life-size tourists with their pet children hang out near the shy fountains. Ten Anonymous Hymns for Guitar begins, and the miracle light reflects off the land juice, blinding you slightly (but in a good way). Year after year drips down your face, and every time you check the time, it’s spring.

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Comme des Garçons, “Serpentine”

A glass knife rests in a grass field. Mechanical chirps softly construct a familiar melody. Silver reading glasses magnify a toad’s rapid eye movement, asleep at noon. Two full sets of house keys wait peacefully. A stiletto, after standing upright for hours, falls over in the breeze.

Ten meters north of these relics, a translucent white container labeled “OUR FAULT” would be empty if, a few minutes prior, a dove had held its bladder while flying overhead.

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