Hair & Beauty Magazine

The Creation of Pan

By Ambrosia
The Creation of PanI have submitted one of my oldest perfumes to the "Midsummer Nights Dream" competition...and as I was trying to write short desriptions of the perfume for the judges, I realized how much a perfumes story is also part of it...
And the story of the birth of this perfume is a particularly interesting one.
The perfume I am submitting is called "Pan " I chose to submit it to the competition, as one of the main character's in Shakespeare's play is "Puck", who is actually an anglicised and slightly tamer version of the great Greek God it seemed only fitting.
"Pan" the perfume was actually one of my first creative collaberation projects.
I wanted to create a perfume as a male counterbalance to the overtly female "Goddess" I had made, a sweet, enticingly sensual rose and jasmine concoction..."Pan", for those of you who haven't come accross him before, is the Wild Greek God of Nature. Untamed, Free, he is said to wander through the Greek countryside palying his pan pipes followed by a dancing group of delighful and sensuous nymphs...he loves good wine and sex and the word "panic" comes from his habit of creating mayhem wherever he goes.....At the same time Pan is the protector of all wild animals, and a great Lover and also protector of Women....
The Creation of PanI had been reading the book "Jitterbug Perfume" by Tom Robbins and was completely taken by the olfactory image of "Pan" in it...wild, animalic and representing everything that is untamed and male....
But I was having problems with it. So I recruited the help of my sisters then boyfriend, who's nickname, fittingly, was "Puck". We sat down in my workshop and started sorting through the various potions and extracts to see what we both thought could make a scent that could call up a perfumed image of this wild make nature spirit...
We started with patchouli, which Tom Robbins married to the lad in his book. Deep, sensual, dark and with an interesting combination of sweet, woody, rooty and earthy...but it just wasn't wild or male enough by itself.
The Creation of PanI had just bought my first tin of oakmoss resinoid some time ago. I had bought it blind, having no idea what it was, when looking for incense ingredients, and had been overwhelmed by the intensity of the scent of this dark brown sticky goo...and on sudden inspiration, brought down this tin of sticky stuff to show to was perfect! So wild and earthy and downright rutting with natural muskiness! A tiny dab went into the patchouli, and then we started adding herbs and spices, from the fresh rosemary and thyme that grow wild in the Greek hillsides when Pan comes from to oriental cinnamon and nutmeg, which gave the wild thing a touch of exotic warmth and pizazz.....

The Creation of Pan

"Pan is born" by Thorsten 

The end result was pretty awesome. Somehow between us we managed to create something that was totally unlike anything either of us had ever smelt in a perfume bottle. And a far far cry from the beautiful elegant perfumes I had been making up until then.
The final test and Pan's first true debut was at a halloween party that happened a few months later. A friend of mine actually decided to dress up as Pan. Mike actually looked the part to start with, being dark hair and eyes, a furry chest and even a little goatee beard...but he was also a pretty gentle soul generally and usually fairly quiet and mild mannered.

The Creation of Pan

"Pan is alive"by Thorsten Jones

So anyway, he dressed up in a homespun woolen jerkin, a goatskin  tail, and a crown of horns and leaves and we doused him heavily in the "Pan" potion...and the musky scent spread over him and began to do it's magic. It was an interesting party, as happoween usually is, esp. when you get together a bunch of mad pagans who dabble in interesting things...the food and wine flowed freely, accompanied by an ever wilder creature dressed in skins and furs who cavorted and galloped through the crowd, leaving a feeling of unrest and general mayhem, along with a scent of musk, rut and wild herbs that spread through the entire house......he was spanking people with his little whip, poking his goats tail in their faces and generally behaving exactly like you would expect of, well Pan himself! It was an interesting party...and I'm not telling any more tales even though it was some years ago now...but I can tell you that "Pan" and his wife told an interesting story about strange aparations with horns and a cheeky grin appearing at the end of the bed later that night (Mike reckons he saw two of them because he was so drunk he was seeing double at the time), shortly after which they had a run of exploding condoms......
I've been selling the stuff as a perfume ever since. And it has grown to have a bit of a reputation, esp. amongst the pagan community...What really amazed me as I began to offer it to my more mainstream customers, is how many women love and wear the scent! It seems "Pan" speaks to an inner wild women that needs to be set free in many of us too! It's heavy Oakmoss base makes it a dry herbal Chypre with an exciting edge in modern perfume terms and is in some ways remeniscent of the older perfumes of the 1930's and 40's...
Whether or not you like it is of course entirely personal....I'm usually to chicken to wear it my self, but my husband, my ex husband and many of my loyal customers love it....
It's definitely not for the faint hearted though....
As the bottle says: "Wear it if you Dare!"
The photos were taken by Thorsten Jones
Mike's wife Bev, who graciously convinced him to let me use the photos, is a great Astrologer who publishes regular "Astral Meanders"

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