Jitterbug Perfume Author:Tom Robbins A powerful and righteous 8th century king named Alobar narrowly escapes regicide at the hands of his own subjects, as it is their custom to kill the king at the first sign of aging. After fleeing, no longer a king but a simple peasant, he travels through Eurasia, and eventually meets the goat-god Pan, who is slowly losing his powers as the world... more » turns toward Christianity. In India, he meets a girl Kudra, who goes on to become his wife. As with most of Robbins' couples, their mutual libido is enormous, and their love quite like something out of a fairy tale.
After an encounter with a mysterious group known as "The Bandaloop Doctors" Alobar is set down the path towards eternal life (which, according to Robbins, can be attained by a consistent ritual of controlled breath work, simple eating, sex, and bathing in extremely hot water). Alobar and Kudra, successful in their immortality, prance about Europe until the 18th century, when they attempt a sort of new transcendental meditation and become separated into different astral planes.
Meanwhile, in present-day, a "genius waitress" named Priscilla struggles with a difficult job in a low-end Mexican restaurant. Priscilla is an amateur perfumer, and is obsessed with trying to locate the base note in recreating a fragrance, something she believes will be almost magical, from a three-hundred-year-old bottle in her possession. While dealing with this, she juggles the unwanted advances of a lesbian co-worker, has a brief affair with an eccentric millionaire obsessed with eternal life, and contemplates the mysterious deliveries of beets to her apartment.
In New Orleans, Priscilla's stepmother, the Madame Devalier, is a successful perfumer, and is also working to recreate the same fragrance as Priscilla. Madam Devalier is intent on restoring her name in the business, taking on the big companies of Paris. She seeks something magical ? the ultra-fragrant jasmine from a mysterious man with the helmet of swarming bees, Bingo Pajama.
In Paris, the LeFever Parfumaire is concerned about their eccentric leader, Marcel, who equates smell as the most important factor in the forward movement of the evolutionary process. After witnessing an eclipse, he is obsessed with his own scent.
The story lines eventually converge into a climax in New Orleans, with a brief stop in another dimension.« less