OK, maybe there's one thing more anachronistic than the handwritten letter: cursive writing. In fact, 41 states don't even teach kids how to write in cursive anymore, which has resulted in some 20-somethings looking at cursive like it's Sanskrit. Cursive, sadly, was pretty much phased out of the classroom in the 1990s.
Since excess is my best friend, I figure we should not only bring back handwritten letters in cursive, but we should also do so in scented ink aka "encre parfumée."
I'm just beginning to experiment with this idea, so my friends around the country better prepare themselves for some smell-o-grams from me.
The Opus Oils glamour-pusses over at Jitterbug Perfume Parlor have a divine Artisan Perfumed Ink for dip pens in the scent of Babylon Noir, which is about as sexy, dark, and decadent as its name sounds. And why wouldn't it be? It has tuberose, leather, civet and smoke accords. (Babylon Noir was Opus Oils' answer to author Sheila Eggenberger's call to scent the characters of her new book, Quantum Demonology.) One dram of Babylon Noir perfumed ink is a mere $12, and 1 oz. is $35.
While practicing with my calligraphy pen (the lovely Kedra Hart sent me an over-the-top feathered pen and nib that was too beautiful to use!), I found myself drunk with Babylon Noir-scented ink, inspired to write poetic and sexy love letters. Take that, sexting!
Apparently, perfumed ink was big in 19th century Italy, when ink manufacturers would collect scents from the perfume industry and add them to their inks.
De Atrementis carries a lovely rose-scented ink, and the line has a dizzying array of inks scented with patchouli, plum, frankincense, violet and so many more perfume-y scents. This led me to J. Herbin, which has a whole world of scented inks made from Grasse-sourced hydrosols, including scents like rose, orange, violet, apple, and lavender. Swoon!
All of this is a reminder that although perfume is a language, you can also perfume your language! Word on the street is that these scented missives last a long, long time.
Write to the ones you love — and add the dimension of perfume. Happy Valentine's Day!