For as long as we’ve been falling in love, we’ve been making potions to induce that feeling in others. We called them philtres. These, when drunk, would cause the recipient to fall madly in love with the giver. Such was the story of Tristan and Isolde, and the fate that befalls Titania in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Perfumes are our modern-day love potions—potent and bewitching, with the ability to change moods instantly. This is my version. No unicorn dust or dragon’s blood, just the world’s most beautiful flowers, spices, and resins, built around the flower of love: carnation. Use it carefully.
By moonlight, the alchemist prepares his philtre, a potion for love and its reciprocation. Around him are a dozen open wood drawers, the contents of which have no name. No need: he knows the recipe by heart. Into a chalice he deposits them carefully—a sprinkle of a fine, powdered spice, a dash of a viscous inky tincture. And for a finishing touch, a single red carnation. As it simmers, the potion begins to glow, emitting a light that warms the whole room." -Hiram Green.