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The steam from the richest of honeyed tea mingles with a light mélange of poached fruit - guava, cassis and plum - made additionally seductive by ginger (for zestful desire), vanilla, tonka and musk, then grounded by white willow bark (a totem of feminine magic). Those enamored of our classic Tea and Strumpets fragrance will look forward to their stay in Port Jolie.



Created by: Mara Fox

Description: Julie (luna65)

Label art: Adrienne (Starlitegirl)

June 2010


Review Thread


She called herself Port Jolie, but her given name was Evelyn.  Same as her mother, her grandmother, her great-grandmother, and who knows how many other generations of women before that.  Out of respect to her lineage she affected what could be considered a stage name for her business interests.  But all of the applicable important documents bore her true name, her signature, and her determination never to be under the financial thumb of anyone ever again.


To that end, her house was furnished in impeccable respectable taste: the furniture upholstered in fine damask and outlawed chintz patterns of demure florals, soothing cream-coloured walls, thick sumptuous rugs from Persia and other far-off locations, Wedgewood china - much like the cup-and-saucer and bowl at her elbow – housed the tea and compote of her afternoon repast, filling her nose with delight as she examined the ledgers.  Men being men meant business was good.  Very good.


The carpets were so luxurious, in fact, that they completely masked the footfalls of her maid and she was taken by surprise at the faint rap upon the door.


“Yvette, I thought I asked –“


Pardon madam, this gentlemen is always to be brought in, you said.”


Jolie sighed and closed the book, setting the pen in its holder upon her Chippendale desk.  The visitor was revealed as a man with the most exquisite bone structure she had ever known, he possessed the type of features which led to the appellation “fox-faced.”  The high cheekbones and perfectly-pointed chin framed deep brown eyes and a full-lipped mouth, easy to smile, smirk or look most cruel when serious.  His expression was somewhere between a smile and smirk, with a slight pout, quick to mock her as he had always done, since the night they met.


“Stephen, I hope you didn’t bring the constable on your heels.  I’ve already donated generously to the authorities this month.”


The man bowed with an obsequious gesture, but instead of kissing her hand he bit her knuckles just slightly, his gaze locked upon hers.  Jolie attempted a steely reserve but the action brought forth a flush nonetheless.


“Fret not, Evie.  I’m a bit light, but the law has no quarrel with me.”


“At the moment, you mean.”


“Quite.”  Stephen seated himself in a leather wing chair, waving a hand at the maid.  “Bring me one of everything, right?  I’m famished!”


Yvette nodded and excused herself quickly, waiting till she was out of the room to mutter darkly regarding l’homme fatale and other dire pronouncements for the man in her madam’s study.


“Evie, you look lovelier every time I see you.  I think scandal agrees with you.”


“You do so love to scandalize everyone, Stephen, but it has no affect on me any longer.  You’ve already brought me as low as you possibly could.”


How can a man so beautiful be so dissolute?  It was not the first time she had wondered such a thing about the man directly and indirectly responsible for her life’s work.  Jolie sipped her tea and smoothed her ash-blonde hair in its chignon.  Her mode of dress was positively sedate, as she favored the high-waisted dresses of the middle class.


“I plucked you from a prison of propriety, dear girl, and I regret nothing.”


Regret…she looked out the window towards the harbour, the parade of ships upon the Thames, each represented potential and desire.  She thought of the man she had entertained the evening prior, so besotted that he begged her to join him on his seafaring journey upon the continent, promising luxurious adventure and romance.  Jolie knew she could turn over the house to another – she had many business associates she trusted with such a venture – but the reason she declined sat across from her in a chair, dark eyes alight with wicked mischief.


He came up to her, directly, not stopping to speak to her chaperone, to ask permission for the dance.  He took her hand and led her out on the floor, without so much as a how-do-you-do.


“I beg your pardon, sir!”


“Oh you will beg, sweet girl, I promise you that.”


Her mouth agape, he spun her around and out into the crowd of dancers before anyone could move to object.


Yvette entered once more with a tray bearing tea, crumpets, and her special fruit compote.  Jolie’s guest fell to the repast with gusto.


“Not nearly as sweet as you, but it will do.  Though your fruit has ruined me for all others, Evie mine.”


Evelyn, the girl, thrilled at the honey of his words…much like the honey in the tea, a promise upon the tongue.  Jolie, the woman, faintly smiled at the honey in his voice, fully aware she would take him to her bed once more because no matter what he had done, or would do, it was true…he was the one who had ultimately brought her to this place of power and influence, her name upon the lips of high society and low scoundrels alike.


“One day the tree will be bare,” she murmured, taking one last sip from her cup.


“Then bury me beneath and let my bones nourish your flowering anew.”


She rose with a rustling of linen, walking toward the window, away from his warm eyes and pretty mouth.


Damn you, Stephen, she thought.  But when she turned back she was smiling once more, wondering how much it was going to cost her.  And the price would be more than pounds and pence.  Still she smiled.


She was, after all, a professional now.

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