I was . . . bemused, I suppose I'd call it . . . to read an article on AOL News this morning about a rather weird new line of perfumes.
Last week, a pair of Italian entrepreneurs, Antonio Zuddas and Giovanni Castelli, debuted Blood Concept, a provocative fragrance line based on the four major human blood types: A, B, AB and O.
While the line forgoes incorporating actual blood, the Italian duo nonetheless claim that each scent is evocative of the blood type it represents.
"Blood Concept is just a celebration of human life through an interpretation of its evolutionary process," Zuddas told AOL News. "To be more accurate, it's an interpretation of the evolution of our most important element, the blood in our veins."
In keeping with the hematic theme, the four scents come in 1.35-ounce vials with red droppers, and the website includes background images of swirling blood.
While the Milan-based designers concede that Blood Concept may make some squeamish, they maintain that their perfumes have nothing to do with blood lust.
"No splatter, no vampires ..." Zuddas said.
Not so fast.
Merticus, a 32-year-old Atlanta man who self-identifies as a vampire, intends to sample the fragrance line.
A founding member of the Atlanta Vampire Alliance and Vampire Community News, Merticus favors O-positive as his drink of choice. As for which scent he'd prefer to wear -- or detect on a donor -- he's keeping an open mind.
"I find the black cherry, pomegranate and patchouli infusions of B and the raspberry, rose hips, and birch infusions of O equally intriguing," Merticus said via e-mail. "Hopefully I'll be able to sample them in the flesh soon."
An antique dealer by daylight, he plans to travel to Italy in September, where, he told AOL News, he may drop by the Blood Concept offices and pick up a few vials.
There's more at the link.
The whole idea seemed so daft, I could hardly believe what I was reading. My disbelief redoubled when I followed the link to the Web site of the Atlanta Vampire Alliance. Knowing that vampires are (and have always been) a purely fictional and mythological notion, I was stunned to read the following:
The mission of the Atlanta Vampire Alliance [AVA] is to promote unity in the greater Atlanta, Georgia real Vampire Community while being available to the newly awakened to encourage self-awareness and responsibility. We honor the traditions of history, respect and discretion regarding Community affairs while advocating the safety and well being of our members. Emphasizing research and support of social gatherings we highlight the importance of education and strength of involvement as a cohesive force in our area. By taking an active role we will serve not only ourselves, but also our Community, and our City.
We accept members from both sanguinarian and psychic backgrounds from the local Community. The [AVA] welcomes everyone to use our forums to contribute to the collective knowledge of our Community. We do not criticize other Houses, Orders, or paths but remain neutral and available to all who wish to belong. Additionally we offer an open hand to those who in the past have chosen to remain solitary in the Vampire Community. It is left to our members to discern which path is appropriate for them while we work in concert to support their journey of spiritual and intellectual growth.
I think I've stumbled across one of the major regional headquarters of Moonbats United - or is it the World Wingnut League? I hoped against hope that this was all a tongue-in-cheek spoof of the vampire genre, but there's enough additional material on the site to convince me that the people behind this Web site take themselves seriously. (On what grounds, I couldn't say!)
Oh, well . . . I guess this proves that, even if vampirism is purely fictional, insanity is all too real - at least in certain circles in Atlanta!