While doing research for another short story that includes a few conjuring tricks, I came across a lust potion.
Traditionally, a fair number of people stop by their local root doctor’s house for a little help getting lucky in love or gambling (which are pretty much the same thing, at times). While you can pick up powders and oils such as “Follow Me Boy (or Girl)” to persuade others to find you attractive, many practitioners don’t like tampering with a prospective lover’s free will.
It’s one thing to cast a spell to keep your spouse from cheating on you; it’s another thing to compel somebody to fall in love with you–that wouldn’t be true love, right?
This lust potion is powerful stuff. Heck, right after reading it and visualizing how it might work, I chanced to see a picture of the late Grandma Moses and my immediate reaction was, “Whoa, that chick is hot.”
Some writers have been criticized for, say, putting too many details in their work about how to cause death and destruction, that I feel I must say that causing lust in ones readers might be almost as dangerous.
Just as a responsible writer wouldn’t put the directions for making an A-bomb out of the stuff in a medicine cabinet, a merciful storyteller shouldn’t put the directions for causing lust in a story. Heaven help us if somebody rushed into a Walmart and sprinkled this stuff around or threw it out the car window on I-75.
Where would we be today if Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller had listed the ingredients in their “Love Potion No. 9” classic back in 1963? We know the stuff smells like turpentine, but (fortunately) dowsing oneself in paint thinner doesn’t cause amorous feelings in normal passersby. But thank goodness we don’t know the complete recipe.
So, I’ll mention the potion in the story without the recipe and let all my readers who are looking for lust in all the wrong places create their own opportunities. Oddly enough, the potion includes nutmeg. Using nutmeg by itself won’t cause lust, though it might make a person remember their favorite pumpkin soup.
Malcolm R. Campbell is the author of Conjure Woman’s Cat, a 1950s-era novella about a black cat named Lena who helps her best friend do magic.
2 thoughts on “Looking for lust in all the wrong places”
I remember a study done years ago where they attached sensors to men’s scrotums (they must have been very trusting or very well paid men) and and had them sniff different scents. The smell got the highest response was pumpkin pie spices (which include nutmeg). Go figure.
Uh oh, “go figure” is right.
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