Scratch and sniff books have been lost to the advances of modern technology.
As far as I know, no electronic wonder has yet to replace them.
Smello-vision never panned out.
If I had the technology, I would have opened this post with a bouquet of jasmine, a hint of citron, and an underlying base note–barely detectable mind you–of beet pollen.
That is the perfume which anchored Alobar and Kudra to the physical realm. It opened up the floral consciousness of all who smelled it. And it drove the half-goat god Pan half-mad for masking his musk of rut.
Tom Robbins’ 1984 novel Jitterbug Perfume is a philosophical text disguised as fiction. But I assure you, you’ll never notice.
He does not insist on conveying the philosophy of immortality. He simply mixes the vapors and lets it waft pleasantly by your nostrils.
I read 13 pages of this book and forgot about it for a couple of months. Then I picked it back up by the side of a pool in the mountains of the Italian countryside. Perhaps the old gods’ old stomping ground infused–I was hooked.
Jitterbug Perfume follows a group of modern perfumers all angling for the perfect scent. It shifts from their story to that of Alobar, starting when he was a bohemian king in the ninth or tenth century.
His people kill their king as soon as he shows any sign of aging so that his soul will travel into the new vibrant and youthful king. Alobar fakes his death and embarks on a quest for immortality.
Christians, shamans, monks, the fading god Pan, and the mischievous bandaloop all leave their mark– as do the women in Alobar’s life. One in particular, Kudra, joins him for the long haul.
And that’s important, because one key to immortality, is:
1. Fire (Sex)
Sex makes you happy. It removes time from the equation, if only for a moment. It introduces a new type of energy to the body, which if properly channeled, can be quite spiritually cleansing.
And it tricks your body into remaining at peak sexual age. (Physically at least. When it comes to experience, if one studies Kama Sutra, the sex gets better with age.)
“What Alobar and Kudra did was to keep their sexual fires so hotely stoked that DNA was fooled into believin’ they were just entering into sexual maturity… [T]heir DNA couldn’t get a clear fix on their age. ‘Twas only aware that they had somethin’ going, and to be safe, it had better support them.” -Dr. Wiggs Dannyboy
2. Water (Bathe)
Trick your body into thinking it is still soaking in amniotic fluid, and you will be forever rejuvenated.
Bring the blood to the surface with warm baths, and let it cool. This cleans the blood. And although this book is fiction, I have read similar scientific studies about cold baths resetting the cells… or at least increasing energy and endorphins.
“Hypothermia not only slows down the metabolic pump, allowin’ it to coast a bit and refresh itself, it puts a lid on the autoimmune reactions that contribute to an organism’s deterioration. You see darlin’, our immune systems tend to be trigger-happy, especially at high or ‘normal’ temperatures, frequently attacking the very cells they hired on to defend–not unlike your police department or your FBI. When body temperature is depressed, the immunological cops remain in the station house playin’ checkers, respondin’ with their pistols, tear gas, and billy clubs only to genuinely threatening situations.” -Dr. Wiggs Dannyboy
Do it in a cold Tennessee creek if you can, like I did yesterday.
3. Air (Breathe)
Every day we breathe in lung-full after lung-full of poison that usually takes about 80 years to kill us. It’s called oxygen. Of course, this poison is better than the alternative–no oxygen–which kills you much quicker.
Oxygen “oxidizes” your body, like it turns iron to rust. Human rust = free radicals.
“When [Alobar and Kudra] brought air into their bodies, they visualized suckin’ in as much energy and vitality as possible; when they expelled air, they visualized blowin’ out all the staleness and flatness inside o’ them.” -Dr. Wiggs Dannyboy
Plus controlled and mindful breathing reduces stress. And being stressed is the quickest way to age.
4. Earth (Food)
Tom Robbins was talking about intermittent fasting about three decades before it became cool.
Calorie restriction has been found to have anti-aging effects. But who wants to go through life starving? Not worth it, eat much die young, I say.
But if you can reap the same benefits of calorie restriction through fasting, I can get on board.
Extreme people will eat for only two hours a day, but eat whatever they want. Others say that it is still beneficial if you only eat, say, 6 hours a day, from 2pm through 8pm.
Also, eat beets.
I was recently at a top-floor bar in a skyscraper in Atlanta, where they just so happened to have a martini with beet juice base.
When I ordered the drink, the waitress asked me if I was a big fan of beets. I told her I’d just recently finished a book where beets played a central role in the plot.
She said she loved me.
See what passions beets stir up?
Alternatively, trampoline. Have you ever seen someone on a trampoline not laughing? (Before the broken arms at least.)
This one is for everyone, even the white kids. You don’t have to dance well, (although that might help you with the sex part). But dancing is another way to reset, forget about time, eliminates stress, and laugh.
But please, I cannot do this novel justice in a mere 700 words.
And I fear I might have given you an inaccurate impression of the book… See, I tailored this post to anti-aging secrets. All the quotes are from pages 257-261.
Better to inhale the true essence yourself– I recommend, if possible, while bathing in Italy, or by a river in Tennessee.
*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.
Thanks for the inspiring recommendation, Joe. I’ve just added it.