Case 036: Mall Fountainfiled June 15, 2022
The InQueery is pleased to premiere our latest landmark fragrance, ⛲mall fountain™ as part of our 2022 PRIDE Collection. Untraditional essences evoke a natural, warm, dewy balm. A uniquely spicy scent—at once metallic and musky—is highlighted with pheromonic scrotal sweetness, making this exclusive eau a nostalgic play on a classic fougère.
The InQueery worked with renowned perfumer and provocateur Lukas Stone, straight off the tremendous success of his line of Euphoria-inspired fragrances. Stone is best known for reimagining deeply personal aromas rigorously molded from his own sense memories. Stone’s odyssey through novel suburbia has transported us to familiar settings, both formative and titillating, with scents like ⛳golf course™, 🛹skate park™, and 🪠costco bathroom™. Now, in another stunningly specific turn, his latest fragrance drops us off at a familiar and influential destination: The American Mall.
“When I was young, going to the mall with my mother and sister was a bittersweet experience,” says Stone. “I would feel at ease with the feminine counterparts of my family unit, yet alienated while waiting on a stained chez lounge beside the changing rooms of Limited Too.” For Stone, among the overwhelming bouquet of aromas experienced at The Mall, there was one impressionable scent that stood out against the passing wafts of Bath & Body Works’ Sweet Pea and Abercrombie and Fitch’s FIERCE: “The Mall Fountain was my sanctuary,” he recalls. “As a reward for my patience, my mother would give me a coin to throw in while she watched from the Cinnabon kiosk.”
The Fountain was the centerpiece of an oblong atrium leading to Nordstrom’s Men’s shoes section, framed by bathroom entrances between a Sunglasses Hut and a Brookstone. “I remember the first time I saw The Fountain. I was stopped in my tracks at the sight of a statue in the middle of the triangular pool: a boy running with a soaring kite, which ascended beyond the second level of stores towards a dazzling paneled skylight. Jets of water burst from the perimeters of The Fountain and splashed the sculpted boy in bronze. I was transfixed by him. So shiny, so free, so…cute?”
In what would become a weekly ritual, Stone ceremoniously approached The Fountain, stepping heel-to-toe “like a flower girl at a wedding,” until he stood at the water’s edge, gazing up at the figure towering above him—a prepubescent Pygmalion and his galleria Galatea. “Before releasing the coin from the clutch of my sweaty palm,” he continued, “I looked down with wonder into the burbling waters—a fluid oasis in that harsh, marble domain—to find his rippling reflection communing with my own. Suddenly I was no longer in The Mall, but floating in the air beside him.” Concluding his coin toss, Stone would shut his eyes and take a deep breath, inhaling the intoxicating oùd: a mélange of sweat, oxidized copper pennies, new sneakers, and highly chlorinated, recycled fountain water gushing through mildew-laden pipes. “I knew this wish was mine alone, a secret protected in a tight fist held at my chest until, finally: the overhead fling, the exhale, the release.” There is tragedy in giving away what you once held so close, but there, too, is relief, catharsis, especially at the age of 9.
This Pride, make a ceremony for the moment. Baptize yourself in the sparkling waters of the past. Reflect on your origins by basking in the glory of all you’ve become. Gift yourself the fragrance of your queer origin. Gift yourself the fragrance of ⛲mall fountain™ by Lukas Stone and The InQueery.
Queer Rating: Gadzooks meets the opening credits of Friends.