"an atmosphere of pomade, spice, excess and inertia"

Pomade (also called pomatum) is a greasy or waxy substance that is used to style hair, making it look slick and shiny. The main ingredients of pomade are petroleum jelly, mineral oil, and wax, with perfumes or colorants. The word pomade is derived from the French for "apple," as the original product, made in the 16th century, contained mashed apples. In ancient India, Greece and Egypt, fresh roses were also used to make fragrant pomade.

Spices such as cinnamon, cassia, cardamom, ginger, and turmeric were known, and used for commerce, in the Eastern worlds and were common part of cooking and medication in Ancient India.