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Of Nymphs and Nostrils...

Of Nymphs and Nostrils...



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  Sunday, 25 April 2010 at 14:11

[Image: Le Rideau Cramoisi (The Crimson Curtain), Félicien Rops, 1879] :

Illustration for Les Diaboliques, by Jules Barbey-d’Aurevilly, 1874]



The role of scent in lovemaking becomes more and more understood, thanks to the science of biochemistry and the discovery of pheromones and other such olfactory biological agents. A woman, all by herself, and without the aid of any artificial scent, has a plethora of her own perfumes; each region, each zone of her body can claim its own unique perfume which is the province and possession of that particular woman exclusively. What man would fail to know the scent of his beloved mate’s cheek, her throat, her wrists, her lips…, and hers alone? He would immediately know his beloved by using his sense of smell, even in the dark. Our scents bind us together, and intertwine in our bedchambers, forming a sensual olfactory symphony that we, as lovers, produce only for the two of us. 



Note: It is an unfortunate contemporary cultural fact that the armpits (of women in particular) have been designated as places that are ‘off limits’. Thanks to Madison Avenue’s efforts in the ‘50s and ‘60s to convince us that we are all secretly offending others by hidden foul smells that only Proctor & Gamble can remove or mask with their products, obscures the fact that a woman’s natural pheromones emanate from this place and others, and are a key component of sexual attraction and seduction for our sense of smell. It has worked just fine as a vital component of our mating system for several million years. Our scents are a powerful non-verbal communication that can entice like no other. If a woman is ‘clean’ as defined by her own personal hygienic standards, there is no need to fear the point where her lithe arms join her luxurious and redolent torso…



Encens Féminins



La femme est un riche encensoir

Aux multiples encens qui fument

Doucement quand tombe le soir

Dans les alcôves qu’ils parfument.



Son corps offre de chers banquets

A nos fringales de narines

En pamoison à ces bouquets

Imprégnés d’effluves marines,



Car Vénus sortant de la mer

Sut garder au fond de son être

Comme un ressouvenir amer

Du grain du sel qui la fit naître…



Sur l’onde opaque des cheveux

Un fumet puissant appareille

Et vogue – portant les aveux

Murmurés en fièvre à l’oreille.



Dans la nuque sont embusqués,

Parmi les poils follets qui frisent,

Des essaims d’arômes musqués

Dont les intimités nous grisent.



Sur la bouche aux charmes secrets

La myrrhe, le benjoin et l’ambre

Epandent leurs souffles discrets

Sous lesquels le baiser se cambre.



La gorge nue a des parfums

Pleins de subtiles chatteries

Où les Amours, d’amour défunts,

Raniment leurs plumes flétries.



Mais parmi toutes ces senteurs

Les plus capiteuses sont celles

Qui nichent leurs esprits chanteurs

Aux creux crespelé des aisselles…



La femme est un riche encensoir

Aux multiples encens qui fument

Doucement quand tombe le soir

Dans les alcôves qu’ils parfument.





Théodore Hannon, Rimes de Joie, 1884.





Feminine Incense





Woman is a rich censer 

Where multiple incenses smoke 

Gently when evening falls 

In the alcoves which her presence perfumes. 



Her body offers rich banquets 

To the hungers of our nostrils 

Which swoon to these bouquets 

Impregnated with exhalations oceanic, 



For Venus -- having left the sea 

Knows how to keep at the depths of her being

A bitter remembrance

Of the grain of salt from which she was born… 



On the opaque wave of tresses 

A powerful aroma gets under way 

And sets sail - carrying confessions 

Whispered feverishly to the ear. 



Upon the back of the neck lay snares, 

Among the confused hairs that curl, 

dwell swarms of musky aromas 

Whose intimacies make us blanch. 



On the mouth lay secret charms 

Myrrh, Benzoin and amber 

Expand their subtle breaths 

Under which their kiss arches back upon itself. 



The naked throat has perfumes 

Full of subtle coaxings 

Where Loves, dead loves,

Can resuscitate their withered feathers. 



But among all these scents 

The headiest are those 

That nestle their singing spirits 

In the curl-covered hollows of the armpits…



Woman is a rich censer 

Where multiple incenses smoke 

Gently when evening falls 

In the alcoves which her presence perfumes. 





Théodore Hannon, Rhymes of Delight, 1884.

[Traduction Anglaise: R.E.André III / Sardonique Schadenfreude Rictus / Dr. Bathybius, 2008]


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