April 2008 – Dances with Patchouli

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Yes, he’s back. March was no fluke, Merlin has some definite opinions on incense he needs to share for April, as well. But first we need to clarify something. Although Merlin is associated with Eye of Horus, he is an independent contractor and keeps his offices in a separate location. You will not find him physically in the store . . . ever. Not that he hasn’t lobbied strenuously to be a shop cat, with easy access to all the incense on a daily basis, but we prefer to keep our incense on display and in a condition that people would like to buy. If we let him in the store, he would quickly, shall we say, re-arrange the section, scattering incense all over the floor for his tasting habits, ahem . . . efforts. Some of you came in and were disappointed not to find him in attendance. But he is here in spirit, and is a valued member of our away team. Now on to the April choice…

Merlin’s Choice April 2008 - Morningstar PatchouliMerlin’s Choice April 2008 - Sarathi GopalaIt was an exciting contest this time. We selected two versions of Patchouli for Merlin to compare. The first selection was from Japan–Morningstar Patchouli Incense–the same brand as March, but with a different scent. The second was from India–Sarathi Gopala Incense–a masala blend of Patchouli and Vanilla. So it was blend vs. single-note, Indian Sarathi Sri Govinda vs. Japanese Morningstar. We figured it would be close. There were only eight sticks in the Sarathi Gopala box, versus the 50 of the Morningstar Patchouli. I had been concerned that would be an issue, that just because of the extra number of sticks kicking out scent, it would be an unfair contest. I needn’t have worried.

Merlin with Gopala IncenseMerlin - Gopala in graspAs you can see from the images, he did a quick rub of the Morningstar Patchouli, and then went for a long, deep rub, grasp & roll with the Sarathi Gopala Patchouli-Vanilla blend. We expected him to review his choice again, but it was clear that this was one of those “Blink” decisions experts can come to when presented with all the variables. With little more than a cursory glance, he made his choice. Then no thought was required, just the deep experience and gut-level commitment of a true Connoisseur. He quickly claimed the box of Indian Gopala incense, leaving the Japanese Patchouli Incense abandoned.

He was, in fact, speechless, and strove to examine and access the Gopala in every way he could. To rub, to hold, to hug from every angle imaginable became Merlin’s entire focus. It was a stunning route to the formerly favorite Morningstar brand. Indian masala incense carried the day, and lead to an entire dance of ecstasy between Merlin and Gopala.

Merlin Dances with Gopala IncenseIt was like watching Fred Astair and Ginger Rogers. Entirely new twists and moves were invented with his new partner. It was the Kama Sutra of incense tasting. There were points when we couldn’t even see the box, he had hugged it so close. I struggle to get an angle with the camera where we could see just a bit of the Gopala, or where Merlin’s head wasn’t tucked completely underneath, or his eyes closed in ecstasy. Though I called to him, he clearly couldn’t hear any better than he could speak. It was a moment. All I could do was be patient and wait for it to pass.

Merlin comes up for air still holding Gopala IncenseThe saying goes, ‘It ain’t over till it’s over,’ but in the case of Morningstar Patchouli vs. Sarathi Gopala Patchouli and Vanilla Incense, it was over in less than a second. It was over but for the dance. Clearly, Merlin had found his bliss and all was right with the world.

He did, in fact, eventually come up for air, and I got the final shot. The incense was removed, to be later burned and enjoyed in a whole other sensory experience for Merlin to savor.

Comments

  1. Faith Lubitz says:

    Wow, this is great! Thanks for including it in the newsletter. I only
    recently subscribed to your email newsletter and wasn’t really
    expecting anything this fun and interesting. I LOVE Patchouli, and
    many people I know hate it so I rarely allow myself the pleasure of
    wearing it. I am chemically sensitive to artificial fragrances so
    patchouli is one of the few things I really enjoy. So I love it that this
    cat was so into it. It does seem like a very erotic scent to me, but
    that might stem from a crush I had years ago on someone who
    wore it.

  2. Oh my, I’m so sorry I wasn’t present this time. Thank you for the detailed description of Merlin’s choice this month.

    “It was the Kama Sutra of incense tasting. There were points when we couldn’t even see the box, he had hugged it so close. I struggle to get an angle with the camera where we could see just a bit of the Gopala, or where Merlin’s head wasn’t tucked completely underneath, or his eyes closed in ecstasy. Though I called to him, he clearly couldn’t hear any better than he could speak. It was a moment.”

    Ahhhh so sublime!

  3. Hi Faith, thanks! The vanilla in the blend really helps balance out the strength of the patchouli. Mr. Merlin is really tough to say no to, he’s quickly become the favorite ‘staff’ member for a number of customers.

  4. heather j larson says:

    OH i love it, i wait for the review, as i am a friend of a pecular cat/human i totaly relate. My office is were the scents come from and every morning at 4 am she wakes me to go to the office, were i religously burn insense and oils. i have noticed certain scents bring her to the top of the desk ( were she knows she is not supposed to tred, yet the certain scents take control and she just cant help herself,, i have tried cat nip she does not have any care for it.. just the scents i burn.. thank you so much for sharing.. blessed be,, so mote it be…. heather, and babygirl

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