A year ago I was in New Orleans, half for vacation and half for research on a book of Marie Laveau I plan to write. My mom and I went to the Voodoo Museum and on a three hour voodoo tour.
If you're ever in New Orleans, you HAVE to do this. It was an unimaginably awesome experience. I got to go to a temple with a shriveled creole woman surrounded by idols with a snake and a bag of bones to read your fortune. We visited Marie Laveau's tomb covered in offerings and red X's. I loved it!
Before going, my mom and I went to a perfume shop and found a bottle of Marie Laveau's original love potion recipe. It smelled divine... equally deep and floral with a hint of musk, much like how I'd imagine love would smell.
I still had some on my wrist at the Voodoo Museum, where they sold what they claimed was the same recipe, only this one had the spell on it. I asked politely if I could just smell the potion to see if it was the same.
"I could give it to you for $15 dollars," the priest offered.
I thought that was a fantastic deal, but I still wanted to smell it first.
"Put out your hand," he told me.
I did, and he made a cross on my palm and instructed me to smell it until the scent was gone. I looked at my hand and thought, Aw crap, he just put a spell on me.
Sure enough, it smelled exactly the same!
"I would like to buy that perfume," I decided.
Oddly, the priest got flustered and made excuses not to sell it to me. I was disappointed. I hoped I hadn't offended him by not taking the potion seriously; I think I made it overly obvious that I only wanted it because of the smell.
It wasn't until after I got home that I realized it was the spell that cost $15, not the perfume. So technically, I still owe him money.