The Perfumed garden is an Arabic manual that is famous as a treatise on sex.The Arabic manual is credited to Sheikh Nefzawi and was translated by Richard Burton who also is famous as the translator of the Arabian Nights. The stories in the manuscript are integral to the text and of course extremely erotic. It must be mentioned here that the Perfumed Garden is very different from the Kama Sutra, for it was not written with the same pious intentions of the Hindu love manual, but more earthy reason of sexual gratification.
The Perfumed garden abounds in stories that are part of the general philosophy of the text. A survey of the stories reveals the writer of the perfumed garden as a master story teller with infinite knowledge of the sex act.
The stories can be read and re read and their appeal will not diminish.
There is the story of Bauloul a Jester who by his sense of humor could seduce and make love to the Princess Hamdouna. By his cleverness he could subdue her thrice and each time the lonely Hamdouna with an elegantly domed belly and navel like a pearl in a golden bowl gave herself to the jester with gay abandon. During the acts to excite the Princess the jester also kissed her vulva and its purple moisture laden dome; the clitoris.
It was an exciting experience because you simply can’t kiss any random girl passing by today and live to tell the tale but things were quite different in those times and it surely gave the vibes of Eclatant perfume of modern day.
Another beautiful tale in the book is the story of Joida. It so happened that Joida loved a woman named Fadehat who was his neighbor. So he decided that the best course of possessing her was to be bold and audacious. So he walked into the lady’s house and showed her his member. The member was so firm and strong that its sight excited the lady no end and she quickly grasped it. She was so enamored of its power and strength that she allowed him to undress her and partake of her body. The Sheikh records that Joidi coupled with the lady a total of twenty seven times during the course of the night.
The Prophetess Shejat Temira, who was seduced by the heretic Mosailama constitutes another erotic tale with a meaning. The prophetess it is related forget all about her work and prayer as she was seduced by Mosailama a heretic. The sheikh mentions that the prophetess was taken on her back, on all fours, in any position including the prayer position The result was traumatic as the prophetess forgot all about being a seer and slave to the heretic. This story brings out the power of sex and its sublime effect. In another tale the sheikh tells of the fright of the testicles who cry out on seeing their brother disappear into the vagina. Hearing the cries the he vulva replies that their brother shall not let him come out alive. However when the member come out, it says that he had suffered from a curious illness and now after treatment he is fully cured. Such writings point to the Sheik as a master of invention and erotic dreams.
The Sheikh displays a tremendous zeal and knowledge of the sex act throughout the pages of the volume. Perhaps the book was written not only ingratiate himself with the Grand Vizier, but also to atone for a personal act of misdemeanor that must have rankled his mind and soul. But for the reader it is a revelation to read these tales.
There is good sexual advice in the Perfumed Garden also which also includes the importance of foreplay, of expression of tenderness, such as kissing and caressing et al.The Perfumed Garden also discusses the female organs of sex and classifies it into forty one types and names! Similarly the male organ is classified into thirty nine types, all of which makes fascinating reading.
An example of the types of vulvas discussed are The Wasp and The Wet ones. The wasp is known by the strength and hardness of the pubic hair. When the member approaches, it gets stung as a wasp while the wet one speaks for itself as it has excessive a secretion. .
The last part of the text deals with recipes to maintain sexual health and ends with a tale in which we are reminded of man’s vanity and the folly of jealousy. The sheikh advices eating several eggs cooked in cinnamon and pepper and fried with butter. He also recommends the drinking of camel’s milk with honey. This may be because camels were in abundance in the deserts of the Middle East. There is much more in the book and perhaps after reading one can think of experimenting with what is written. The results may or may not be up to the mark but at least they will be interesting.