I’m not sure if the retinol serum makers know that when they push a face-cream I’m immediately put in mind of Bulgakov’s Margarita smearing her face with the stuff before becoming a witch.
In this case art trumps science. The pot of cream isn’t going to make you become a witch, it’s designed to give you vampire skin instead — much better. It doesn’t matter which face-cream it is, even picking up a more ethical brand the words of this literary master hang in the air.
It is worth wondering if it is a very male view of an ageing woman that these products should have such an occult inference. But as the book is truly great, its images and allusions stick with you in a way that a face-cream commercial just doesn’t.
You bring more crazed wonder to your life by picking up Bulgakov than buying a face-cream and it will give those furrows a fair bit more wise beauty than any amount of vampire juice could bestow you with.
So, maybe pick a book instead, they’re still free at the library. But vampire juice can be picked up increasingly economically in these post-industrial times.