Breath of God is a gospel CD by C. Millhuff which can be purchased on the Musichristian website for the miraculously low price of 5 dollars and 77 cents. This double length CD offers 700 biblical promises with orchestrated background of well known hymns--and it's only the first volume, which might mean God is a heavy breather. The compilation is "very spiritually reassuring and relaxing," says the manufacturer. Many use it at bed time for children. Bill & Gloria Gaither, whoever they are, describe it as 'overwhelming'. The opening track is called "All of You Who Endure", surely as much of a warning as an overture. "I Am Always Thinking of the Lord" follows, along with, among others, "No Mere Man", "Since We Believe in Jesus", and "Take My Yoke Upon You." What better at bedtime than a sedative?
It's easy and sometimes good for a laugh to poke fun at organized religion, not least when it ventures out into the marketplace with a lowest common denominator smile on its face. In fact, God is many things to many people. To a select few, He's no one at all, which of course is another kind of someone, as negative space is space all the same. Most people, even the most devoutly Christian, have some sense of spirituality. Where did it all come from? Where is it all heading? Who in His right mind would come up with those funny looking, hairless cats? The mind is constantly questioning. The world is full of wonder. Something, or someone, somewhere has to encapsulate all the wondrous conundrums that make up a life. You get so used to things, so buried in the mindless grooves of the day to day, that you can easily forget how amazingly complex and unlikely the universe and creation are. Something or someone has to remind you.
Every once in a while, along comes an entity which snaps you out of this, with such force, such clarity of purpose, that you see it all very clearly suddenly. In that moment of lucidity, you see it's both a joke and a dead serious, awe-inspiring proposition: your life, everyone else's, the fact that skyscrapers and barns co-exist in the same implausible scheme of things, along with Mozart and Mama's Family. The shaky brevity of relationships and our constant, heroic struggle to understand one another, how big it all is, how far reaching, how large and impossible to see all at once, how simultaneously tiny and interconnected: suddenly it all registers in stark, microscopic detail.
For some, that surreality check is a gospel record. For others, it's a sunset. A child's face, a mother's, a birth or death or a fugitive smell out on the street which instantly brings a loved one back to life. For perfume lovers, it might be finding that holy grail perfume. There among the dross of the mass market miasma might be--Eureka!--a vintage, unopened bottle of Magie Noire, Nombre, or Mitsouko. Such shocks to the system, rare enough on e-bay, are even harder to come by in contemporary perfume. So many fragrances flood the market annually that we lovers can become very blase about it all. More pink pepper, you say? Damn. Now that's a dilemma. I really wish I could buy it--but I just don't want to. There are still amazing perfumes being made, and by amazing I don't mean really beautiful or truly great. I'm talking about a perfume that recalibrates the cosmos for you.
Breath of God, in addition to being a gospel CD, is also just such a perfume. The supposed seven days of creation play out on your skin when you splash some of this preposterous stuff on. You can smell the barnyard (thank you, cade oil) and the orchard, the sky and the ground and everything in between. This perfume takes chances, reminding you of the high humor involved in a world which mixes nylon fanny packs and Bentleys into the same big pot. You might not like the results, but you're sure to be caught off guard.
Breath of God is made by B Never Too Busy to be Beautiful, a vegan cosmetics manufacturer related to Lush. The packaging and the overall aesthetic are similar enough that you might understandably confuse them as the same company, but there's nothing remotely close to Breath of God, as one would secretly hope. It comes in a silly, playful bottle perched on a pedestal. Its composition is equal parts Inhale and Exhale, both of which are fragrances themselves, also sold by BNTBTBB. There's a definite tension within Breath of God, creating the sense of yin and yang, its black and white halves roiling around like a winking Jesus. It doesn't do a lot of staying still, though it maintains its remarkable balance in movement. Breath of God contains cedarwood, rose, ylang ylang, vetiver, lemon, grapefruit, neroli, black pepper, sandalwood, and that wallop of cade, or so says the ad copy. What it smells like is much harder to break down, as it probably should be, with a name like that. In a flash, it goes from fruity to woodsy, from petrol to herbal, and back again.
I'm a fan of Lush's Karma, which I've tried in solid and own in liquid form. I wear it often. My good friend enjoys smelling it, though he says he wouldn't wear it. Breath of God would probably elicit the same verdict. I'm not sure that's such a problem. I know many people who admire Bandit's audacity but would no more put it on than they would a piece of ready-made art by Marcel Duchamp. Breath of God has that fearsome impressiveness to it. There's a lot of wit in there. It goes further than many perfumes dare, displaying a fascinating combination of finesse and crudity, a dual personality that feels, in practice, perfectly harmonious. It feels full, a double CD worth of inspiration. Breath of God is a breath of fresh air.