top of page
ace logo

 The Scent That Captures That "1930s Moment"!

All material copyrighted to © 2014

or to the various credited sources © 2014



O flirtatious, loquacious, vivacious DEVON VIOLET,

Quite salacious and licentious, lascivious but never lewd,

Too shrewd to be crude or gauche, this subtly scented flighty

Socialite of fragrances, throwing off mystifying whiffs

And terpsichorean pheromones, perfumed passé dobles,

Pirouettes for the nose, imperceptible strobes of invisible

Violet vibrations bouncing together with such badinage,

Virtuoso of tones, olfactory colours only visible to those

Occultists and magical thaumaturgists who observe in one

Another the clairvoyant’s violet aura –and clairfragrance

Clinging to their silver-surmounted heads; whose third eyes

Sculpt thought-forms from the odour of DEVON VIOLET:

Quaint little pottery bottles, or chic columnvular vessels

Of art-deco cut-glass, seemingly three-dimensional,

Almost tangible; the choicest spices for exponents

Of the Sixth Scent: such as white-caped, burnouse-hooded

Medium Annie Besant (once described by Edmund Russell

As “the little grey woman” he encountered crouched by

Madame Blavatsky’s chair-arm in her cartomantic parlour);

Alexandra David-Néel, that intrepid tulpa-spotter;

Walter Old, shrouded in mystique through his alter-ego,

‘Sepharial’; Marie, Duchess de Pomar of Palais Tiranty,

Who claimed to communicate with the spirit of Mary Stuart,

Queen of Scots, in a special chapel filled with “Mary relics”;

Spiritualist Violet Tweedale, prolific author, whose final

Contribution to spiritual literature, The Cosmic Christ,

Was published on the cusp of the psychic-damping Thirties’

Platinum dawn of a back-to-basics, bread-and-butter age

Signatured with bakelite hallmarks translating as

The apparent triumph of materialism over heart and spirit

(Ironically at the compass-point of capitalism’s near-collapse

With the rise of unemployment and underconsumption

In the wake of the Wall Street Crash –the world’s first Market

Quake which threatened then to consume consumerism…



Last, but by no means the weakest link –in fact, by far the strongest:

A veritable “giantess” of transmigration– in impromptu

Puffs of “inextinguishable cigarettes”, Russian tobacco

Self-rolled with an origamist’s finesse: white-eyed Madame

Blavatsky, neé Helena Petrovna of the aristocratic

Dolgorukaya dynasty of Novgorod, on the Volga,

Descended from Carolingian knights of the Baltic-German

Mecklenburg line; broad head ‘surmounted with silver’,

Smudges of thick curls giving her countenance the effect

Of one of her spirit-portraits palm-rubbed with plumbago

Through a sheet of paper, the self-described “hippopotamus

Of a woman” riddled with kidney stones and lumbago,

To whom anything of purely temporal import was simple

“Flapdoodle”; depicted by her theosophical pen-pal,

Colonel Henry Steel Olcott (uncanny surname: almost an

Anagram of ‘Occult’), his affectionately abbreviated

‘H.P.B’, “…in her shabby wrapper… smoking cigarettes,

Her huge head with crinkled brown hair bent over the page

She was writing on… a look of introverted thought in her

Light-blue eyes…”; inveterate tester of selected friends,

Blavatsky had a dragon’s tongue which “could breathe enough…

Fire to… singe the green of Holland Park”, or char the stucco

Of Landsdowne Road, and plenty more residences besides;

Could cause conflagrations across her clairaudiences

Sparked to raptures at her incredible ability to magic

Up crisp bank notes from deep within her tobacco basket;

Producer of the transcript, The Secret Doctrine, dictated

To her through automatic writing in Seraphic purple

Prose by supreme Tibetan adepts (she, their secretary)…





For aren’t all writers, after all, really mediums, adepts,

Amanuenses of posthumous insights and enlightenments

Of passed-over discarnate souls –poets especially so…?

Hence the etymology of the mystifying term, ‘inspiration’,

From the Latin inspiratio, to breathe something into something:

The breath of God, of Yahweh, of spirit; to inspirit…? For where

Does it all come from, this inspiration, these silver words and

Ideas, this dark manna of imagination, this burdonesome

Ambrosia of the sublimated mind, sweet-bitter as black treacle,

Treacherous to the nerves as temporarily numbing absinthe,

And these green-fairy reflections of things not lived –unless

Delivered up from unconscious memories of past lives, us,

Reincarnated, going some way to explaining déjà vu, déjà vu)…

bottom of page