Red Christmas, Chaps
We can't make it a promise, but one of the most talked about men in the British Isles very shortly may well be an American perfume manufacturer from Wilton, Conn. named Charles Norman Granville. Taking advantage of his yachtsman's knowledge of the Gulf Stream, Granville plans to float $25,000 worth of his Red Satin perfume across the Atlantic, blanketing the western shores of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales on Christmas Eve with an odoriferous crimson oil.
The thought that a Lancashire squire filled with Yule cheer will lift his head from his plum pudding, breathe deep of his moist English air and get a snootful of Red Satin from the colonies bothers Mr. Granville not a whit. A man who once caused a perfumed rain on Paris and a perfumed snow on Bridgeport, Conn. and who seriously considered turning Niagara Falls temporarily Red Satin red can't be expected to boggle at the prospect of December dismay in the land of his forefathers. "This will benefit everybody," says Granville, speaking with what might, in the spirit of things, be called dollars and scents logic. "I'm sure the English will be delighted to find their atmosphere aromaed with passion flower."
Smelling not at all of passion flower and attacking a chicken hash with the joie de vivre of a man who calls his factory the Skunk Works, Granville used a luncheon last week to explain that his latest prospect really started at Niagara Falls.
"Four years ago we were going to dye the falls red for 30 seconds, add perfume and claim Red Satin did something honeymooners couldn't: make Niagara blush," he began. "The police found out and stopped us. Dreadful situation. That 300 pounds of red dye in our inventory has riled me ever since.
"Then, while navigating my yawl Angelique in last year's Bermuda race, I got the idea. Why not use the Gulf Stream for a mass perfuming of England and mark the transatlantic progress of our product with that red dye? I checked with oceanography experts. Scientifically, sir, I assure you the idea is sound.
"We even used four Connecticut ponds to test how fast our perfume loses its scent in water. Measurement is millismells. I invented it. One thousand millismells equals full odor—one smell. The perfume lost four millismells a week, or 10% of its strength in the time it would take to get from Miami on July 15, when we are going to dump it, to Christmas Eve, when it arrives off Great Britain."
His chicken hash was neglected as he became absorbed with the concept of his smell on a swell. "Charts show we must seed a mile-square area 13� miles from the western edge of the Gulf Stream off Miami. The slightest miscalculation and we perfume Spain at Easter. We expect, among other things, to catch one particular offshoot of the current and perfume Liverpool harbor. Liverpool badly needs something like that. We're going to inform ships and planes of the perfume's probable position. They can help alert the British to the estimated arrival day."
But is alerting the British the best tactic? "I've thought of that too," said Granville, whose forefathers left London in the 1850s. "They can't stop us. We'll have the perfume in international waters. Best of all, they can't retaliate. The Gulf Stream only runs one way."
And what do you say to that, Great Britain? Merry Christmas.