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The Eccentricities of Gentlemen

This past winter was among the most brutal I’ve known. With its record-low temperatures and record-high snowfall, my only avenue of escape into spring was through the bottled flowers in my cabinet—and through my little blue notebook of scent. Perfume...
Vogue, a century or so ago, often featured the “fancy dress balls” of the day, especially as they pertained to charity events and the idling of the rich—the magazine proclaimed such costume parties (in the 1913 article “On With the Masque!”) to be a “whirling vortex of  merriment in  the guise of bird, beast, or flower, or as the elements of nature, or in plumes borrowed from many nations.”
A Cup of Chocolate (1844), by Charles Beranger © Christie's Images / Bridgeman Images At nine o’clock the next morning his servant came in with a cup of chocolate on a tray, and opened the shutters. Dorian was sleeping quite peacefully,...
Picture the heavenly death of lab rats subjected to absinthe tests, like those reported in the Boston Medical and Surgical Journal of 1894: “The guinea-pigs utilized by Cadéac and Albin Menuier in studying the action of the vapor of...
“Down with the pretty ladies of the old school! Down with the old masters! Away with the pretty ladies!” Ken Russell’s Dante’s Inferno (1967), a BBC biopic of Dante Gabriel Rossetti, features rebels building a bonfire of classical paintings, prancing...