True North

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  • Scent Notes
    Peppermint swirls in warm vanilla milk with cardamom. Candle wax, cedar, and lush, green galbanum.
  • Description
      The castle loomed ahead; she could smell the wax from the hundreds of lit candles already. She walked straight into the main hall, and was greeted to the sounds and sights of a pirate party: rum, mead, an air of jocularity, missing limbs, fistfights…. To read the first part of Rose’s adventure, click here. Rose and her merry band of brigands sailed northward for several weeks, heading into increasingly colder temperatures. She knew their destination was close when night closed in fast, and didn’t stop for several days. The collective breath of the crew hung about the entire ship, coating everything in a semi-frozen mist. There’s no way it was actually possible, but to Rose, this frigid air always smelled like peppermint, and she relished breathing in the minty freshness that seemed to permeate everything. They could just make out lights from other ships in the distance, all floating to the same destination: Penzance, the secret northern island just for pirates. Every five years, pirates showed up to Penzance in the dead of winter to tell tales, drink, and attempt to rob each other. You know, pirate stuff. Rose and her crew were one of the last ships to make it to Penzance this time around. This would be her fourth visit to the island; somehow, more than twenty years had passed in her pirate’s life. It seemed absolutely, positively inconceivable. As the crew took care of the ship, Rose dashed down the plank and across the land, nearly falling several times. She might be great at sea, but her land legs weren’t as steady; plus, you know, ice. She was in the frozen tundra after all! The castle loomed ahead; she could smell the wax from the hundreds of lit candles already. She walked straight into the main hall, and was greeted to the sounds and sights of a pirate party: rum, mead, an air of jocularity, missing limbs, fistfights…. Rose took a deep breath, filling her lungs with the scent of cedar from the giant fireplace burning at the back wall, and smiled. It felt great to be home. Grabbing a pint off a nearby table, Rose walked to the back of the hall, yelling happy profanities at friends as she passed them, not deterred from her target. She knew her ex would be in the back corner, surrounded by a gaggle of hangers-on. Of course, Rose was not wrong. The crowd had just burst into a peal of laughter when Rose shouted over them, “Why, hello Misty!” The small crowd parted, and there, in the center, was her beautiful ex-girlfriend, Misty Morning. Misty’s hair was intricately plaited, and her matching silk pants and jacket were her favorite shade of sky blue. She smelled like pure vanilla: absolutely delicious. Rose quickly grabbed Misty by the arm and led her through the throng to a corner where they could talk privately. “Have you been here long?” Rose asked Misty innocently. Misty smiled. “Yes, about three years, actually.” Rose looked guilty, and was about to start apologizing when Misty cut her off. “I know you feel bad, and we can talk about it later, but I heard something interesting when I arrived a few hours ago, and I think you should know about this, too.” Rose raised her eyebrows in alarm. Misty nodded. “Yup, as he’s always threatened to do, I heard Deadbeat is finally making his way to the quote unquote exotic Far East.” She rolled her eyes. “You know I’ve always hated when white people decide to exoticize my family and my history because they think everyone has, like, a pet dragon who smokes opium in a grove of cherry blossoms or some shit. Whatever. Anyway, the point is: we can reclaim these stereotypes, AND the bounty he’s planning to steal.” A mysterious gleam came into Misty’s eyes; it always drove Rose crazy when Misty looked at her that way. “So, are you coming with me to the east, Miss Compass?” Rose grinned. “Oh, absolutely.”

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