Calliope music played: a Strauss waltz, stirring and occasionally discordant. The wall as they entered was hung with antique carousel horses, hundreds of them, some in need of a lick of paint, others in need of a good dusting; above them hung dozens of winged angels constructed rather obviously from
female store-window mannequins; some of them bared their sexless breasts; some had lost their wigs and stared baldly and blindly down from the darkness.
And then there was the carousel.
A sign proclaimed it was the largest in the world, said how much it weighed, how many thousand lightbulbs were to be found in the chandeliers that hung from it in Gothic profusion, and forbade anyone from climbing on it or from riding on the animals.
And such animals! Shadow stared, impressed in spite of himself, at the hundreds of full-sized creatures who circled on the platform of the carousel. Real creatures, imaginary creatures, and transformations of the two: each creature was different. He saw mermaid and merman, centaur and unicorn, elephants (one huge, one tiny), bulldog, frog and phoenix, zebra, tiger, manticore and basilisk, swans pulling a carriage, a white ox, a fox, twin walruses, even a sea serpent, all of them brightly colored and more than real: each rode the platform as the waltz came to an end and a new waltz began. The carousel did not even slow down.
"What's it for?" asked Shadow. "I mean, okay, world's biggest, hundreds of animals, thousands of lightbulbs, and it goes around all the time, and no one ever rides it."
"It's not there to be ridden, not by people," said Wednesday. "It's there to be admired. It's there to be."
A place of power and possibility, of gods diabolical and celestial: glowing amber and heady cinnamon, the green of growing things and the white of thunderclaps, sweet myrrh and sacred styrax, forest moss and blood-soaked battlefields, papyrus and clay, rose petals, wildflowers, abbatoirs, and honey.
I was very excited about this, being kind of an ur-mythology, mixing all these different divine tropes together and into a jumble of tumultuous divinity, swirling and such.
This smells interesting in the bottle, like a tiny touch of green, sappiness, a little snow note. I get a hint of the clay-snow slush from Kumari Kandam, but then it veers off a bit.
Wet, this is still pretty sweet, still green-ish, and musky. There's a bit of an ozone snap but it's not terribly strong. Reminds me a touch of Lightning. And then there's a subtle bump of aquatics, salt? Then honey - followed by a touch of a papery, dry note. All still over the rocky base. The amber starts to hum here, midway through, and what was once initially very elemental, swirling with leaf, thunder, water, elevates into a resinous honey with incense, and then reminds me of Anubis - golden, glowing, yellow thrum of incense. I'm primed to look for 'blood' as a note, which is usually grungy and kind of funky, but I don't get that at all. Near the end of the major drydown, I think I can get a touch of rose petals, but it's not terribly overpowering or strong.
This started off whirling, rotating, turning, and ends up drying down into a supremely smooth amber incense, with moderate chewy sweetness from honey, and a little spice and earth.