Verse > Anthologies > T. R. Smith, ed. > Poetica Erotica: A Collection of Rare and Curious Amatory Verse
T. R. Smith, comp.  Poetica Erotica: Rare and Curious Amatory Verse.  1921–22.
From “The Songs of Bilitis”
C. The Perfumes
By Pierre Louÿs (1870–1925)
(1894. Translated from the French by Horace Manchester Brown. 1904)

I WILL perfume all my skin that I may attract lovers. Upon my beautiful legs, in a basin of silver, I will pour the spikenard of Tarsos, and the metopion 1 of Egypt.
  Under my arms, crushed mint; upon my eyebrows and upon my eyes, marjolaine of Koos. Slave, take down my hair and fill it with the smoke of incense.  2
  Behold the oinanthe (briony) of the mountains of Kypros; I will let it run between my breasts; the liquor of roses which comes from Phaselis, shall embalm my neck and my cheeks.  3
  And come, pour out upon my loins the irresistible bakkaris (inula). It is better for a courtesan that she should know the perfumes of Lydia, than the customs of the Peloponnesus.  4
Note 1. Galbanum. [back]

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