Thursday, 7 August 2014

Aroma, Lammas and Earth Witchery

Image from We Heart It
Following on from my previous post about natural perfume, I successfully made my first fragrance!

Friday 1st August was Lammas, the first of the three Pagan harvest celebrations leading us into Autumn. It is usually celebrated with baking bread and brewing ale and having a feast in honour of the Irish deity, Lugh. And during this feast we give thanks for our abundance and our blessings (I didn't bake bread, nor did I make ale but I dedicated the evening to him all the same!) Harvesting, creating and working with natural ingredients - I thought this would be the perfect time to put my aromatherapy knowledge and crafty hands to work.

Image from Tumblr
I created a portrait perfume of my sister. If she was a colour, she'd be indigo, if she were a taste, she'd be an exotic floral herbal tea, if she were a sound, she'd be the sound of windchimes, if she were a shape, she'd be a star. And so using this synaethesic palette, I made a blend of Frankincense, Ylang-Ylang, Rose, Jasmine, Neroli and Mandarin. I perfomed Reiki on the blend and have stored it in a dark purple glass jar for it to brew and with the high energy of Lammas infused, it'll charge her with the highest vibrations when she wears it. It's almost ready to bottle and every day I give it a shake and check on how it's coming along - I'm so happy with it, it has created the exact effect I wanted.

If I were to describe the scent it would be this:

A deep femininity that blossoms in the dark hours, a seasoned maternal energy ribboned with a youthful sparkle. A warm night of laughter in an Eastern land. Looking up at the stars in an exotic garden at midnight. Fairylights streaming across a path lined with flowers. Crystals draped around one's neck, feet bare upon the ripened earth.

Image from Tumblr
To continue my day of Earth Magick, I meditated and gave my thanks and offerings, laid out some crystals and burned some incense. I took out my Native American Tarot (Vision Quest) cards and drew one in honour of my connection with Spirit. I pulled The Shaman card which I later placed under my pillow for me to absorb the energy of it while I slept:

Image from Google search

This feels like exactly where I should be, crafting with nature and using ancient medicine. Old methods and herb knowledge are coming back to me in full force and although I have a shelf stacked with reference books, it is my intuition that's telling me which flowers, resins, oils and herbs to use for each purpose. And I just feel so blessed to have this gift.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Return to the Willow

Yesterday I went to Lush's Gorilla Perfume exhibition for the launch of their new perfume collection "Death, Decay and Renewal". I miss working for Lush for the sheer joy of being surrounded by beautiful aroma all day long, and walking through the cleverly interactive and inspring gallery, propelled my love for bespoke perfume. I managed to get just a couple of pictures of the exhibition before leaving, smelling of "Death and Decay" and "Staying Alive" as I went - two incredible fragrances I will definitely buy when they are released.

This is something I've been delving into again over the past few months after reading the novel, "Perfume: The Story of a Murderer" by Patrick Süskind (which is now one of my most favourite books ever) and finding Tanya Moulding, a tradtional perfume maker who creates artisan fragrances using natural oils. This has all led me to creating my own perfumes. I am currently working on a scent for my sister, based on her personality, her aura and essence and what she represents to me. I will create portrait scents for people I know and also fragrances that conjur up images, thoughts, music and colours in relation to the blend of flowers, plants, herbs and many other beautiful and natural smells - something that Mark Constantine, creator of Lush and artisan perfumer establishes with his blends.

Image from Tumblr
Throughout my life I have been learning properties of herbs, oils and flowers and working with them on an emotional and soul level, it is simple, beautiful fragrances lift the spirits and for me, they have sparked story ideas and have helped me to pursue other artistic projects.  Overtime I have come to  figure out that I have a mild case of Synaesthesia (a condition some people have when one sense merges with others), I see the days of the week and numbers in colours and each colour has a taste and a scene. I get images of landscapes and music through smell and I can describe a person through colour, sound and taste too. I've started using this to my advantage in my writing, in the ways that I am inspired to create characters and set mood and tone.

Image from Tumblr

So in developing this lifelong interest in natural aroma, I am exploring other crafts and artistic projects that will enable me to connect each sense in order to enhance my well-being. I have experience in making candles for the mind, body and spirit but it won't stop there, I want to be making soaps, perfumes, oils and incense on a regular basis and anything else that will set my Synaesthesia off into creation. Afterall, I am a qualified Herbalist and I need to remind myself of that.

Image from Tumblr

I have been told by numerous mediums and healers that I have been a Medicine Woman and an Apothecary in previous lifetimes, working with nature is in my cellular core - I have the tools and the know-how so why not fill my life with it?

Image from Tumblr
While on a trip to Venice recently, I walked into a Bespoke Perfumery and I could barely speak the entire time I was in there out of overwhelming joy. Old apothecary cabinets lined the walls, vials and glass jars were labelled in Victorian print and while looking around me in this dream of a shop, I was also mentally decorating my future Natural Magic workspace, an apothecary of my own full of plants, flowers, jars, oils, vintage perfume bottles and gorgeous dark wood furniture.

Image from Google search
And so, the return to myself has happened, I am not who I was two years ago when I stopped writing this blog but I am again who I always have been. I moved, finished my novel, joined a psychic development circle, found my twin flame and best friend, freed myself mentally, released shackles and cleared all the things that stood in my way and in turn I remembered all the things that kept me going in the first place - my intuition, my creativity, my spirit and the clarity of my senses. This will all lead to the establishment of my writing and my personal pursuits - for if I don't have my imagination or my dreams, I wouldn't know how to fall in love with those moments when I stop and absorb the world. And if one can gather the senses into a theatre production of symphonies, smells, textures, tastes and colours, then there is all the more reason to enjoy what the world gives us to play with.