Magical and lucky perfumes -- like the perfumed dressing and anointing oils used in African-American hoodoo -- are worn on the person or applied to objects to effect a magical change or transformation of events. These Guatemalan perfumes are typical of such spiritual supplies, which have a long history of use in Europe, Africa, Asia, and the Americas. Magical perfumes and package amulets are sold in open-air markets throughout Guatemala. These were purchased from a street vendor.
"Siete Machos" translates as "Seven Male Animals" -- here depicted as seven horned buck goats whose heads are arrayed around a steaming cauldron from whence issues magical aromatic essences. Siete Machos perfume, which has a light, pleasantly musky fragrance, is worn by men to increase their manliness and to help them win in love affairs. It is believed to attract women.
Since billy goats are notorious for their highly developed sexuality and the way in which their strong odor attracts females, the use of the male goat as a symbol is highly appropriate for this occult perfume. The back of the label, unseen in this scan but visible through the bottle, bears the imprint of four roses; the logo of the company that manufactures the popular Siete Machos line of men's magical fragrance products.
"San Simon Esencia" is a perfume used by both men and women who seek the aid of the old Guatemalan Mayan god Ma'am under his contemporary guise as Maximon or Hermano San Simon. Maximon ensures bountiful crops, fertility, success in business, and good luck in gambling. His name (pronounced Mashimon) is a conflation of Ma'am and Simon; Hermano San Simon means "Brother Saint Simon" -- because as an "opener of the way," Maximon is identified with the Catholic Saint Simon Peter, the "keeper of the keys."
The aroma of San Simon Esencia is citrus-based, and the colour is orange, in keeping with the fact that offerings of kumquats are favoured by the god. Other offerings are shown on the label: a candle, a glass of alcohol, a stack of coins, and a smoking cigar. The perfume may be worn on the person or applied to objects to be blessed. Because it is difficult to import small bacthes of this perfume from Guatemala, we now make it here in our own shop. The fragrance is exactly the same, and so is the label, but we use standard rectangular glass bottles instead of the faceted one shown here.
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