“Who is this coming out of the wilderness like pillars of smoke, perfumed with myrrh and frankincense, with all the merchant’s fragrant powders?”
SONG OF SOLOMON 3:6
Did you know Spikenard is the oil of gratitude? Spikenard encourages true appreciation for life. It addresses repeated patterns of ingratitude, where a person sees themselves as a person whom criticism or abuse may be directed, or a victim of their life circumstances. It encourages individuals to let go and find appreciation for all of life’s experiences.
Spikenard is grown in Nepal, China, and India. For centuries the oil has been used as a perfume, as a medicine, and in religious ceremonies from Europe to India. In the bible It was offered on the specialized incense altar in the time when the Tabernacle was located in the First and Second Jerusalem Temples. Several references to Spikenard, were made in both the Old and the New Testament.
Spikenard was one of the early aromatics used by the Egyptians and is mentioned frequently throughout the bible. The powdered root of Spikenard is also mentioned in some Islamic traditions as the fruit which Adam ate in Paradise, which God had forbidden him to eat. It was traditionally used to anoint people of high honor due to its healing properties, and is considered to have spiritual applications for blessing and protection.
Spikenard has a long list of therapeutic uses in clinical aromatherapy and is considered non-toxic, non-irritant, and non-sensitizing. It is also used to season foods in Medieval European cuisine.The health benefits of Spikenard Essential Oil can be attributed to its properties as a deodorant, laxative, and a sedative in nature.
Did you know Sandalwood is the oil of sacred devotion? It helps with all kinds of spiritual worship including prayer, and meditation. It teaches reverence and respect for God. Sandalwood has been used since ancient times. More than 4,000 years ago, it was used to calm the mind, still the heart, and prepare the spirit to commune with Deity. In India, it’s been valued for at least 2,000 years as one of the most sacred trees, and an important part of devotional rituals.
Sandalwood is a tree with a extremely aromatic wood. It is economically and culturally important to many countries around the Pacific and Eastern Indian Ocean regions where it grows or is traded. The wood is used for making furniture, ornaments, sacred objects, carvings, and joss sticks (incense). The essential oil is used in medicine, perfume, and aromatherapy.
The tree is medium sized 12-15 meters tall. The tree reaches its full maturity in 60 to 80 years, which is when the center of the slender trunk (the heart wood) has achieved its greatest oil content. Both the heartwood and roots are fragrant and contain the oil; the bark and sapwood, however, are odorless. The Sandalwood tree is never cut down, but uprooted during the rainy season, when it is richer in precious essential oils.
Essential oils may have also been used in Indian medicine, but were popularized in the west by the perfume industry, and so became applied medicinally in the western world after the 1920’s by French aromatherapists. Sandalwood is very beneficial to the skin; it can help reduce the appearance of scars and blemishes and it promotes a healthy, smooth complexion.
Did you know Myrrh essential oil is the oil of mother earth? This oil nurtures the soul’s relationship with it’s maternal mother and with the earth. This oil also supports people who have a breakdown of their peaceful connection with the mother-child bond. When this bond has been broken apart, the soul may loose its childlike ability to trust.
Myrrh is nature’s miracle herb. It was one of the three gifts given to Jesus by wise men at His birth. Referenced in the Bible as the Balm of Gilead, Myrrh has been used throughout history as a perfume, incense, and medicine. It was also employed in embalming and religious ceremonies. The name Myrrh is derived from the Arab word ‘morr’ which means ‘bitter’.
Myrrh, botanically, is an aromatic gum resin, an oleoresin to be specific. Oleoresin happens to be a natural blend of a resin and an essential oil. It is obtained from thorny trees of the ‘Commiphora’ genus when a wound in the tree trunk causes it to secrete a resin. The resin has a waxy texture and once harvested, it becomes glossy and hard. The trees are native to regions of Somalia and Ethiopia.
Ancient records show that Myrrh was deemed so valuable that at times it was valued at its weight in gold. Myrrh essential oil is derived from the gummy resin of the small, thorny Myrrh tree and has been used for centuries for its internal and external health benefits. Myrrh has powerful cleansing properties, especially for the mouth and throat. It is also soothing to the skin—promoting a smooth, youthful looking complexion—and promotes emotional balance and well-being.
Did you know Lavender essential oil is the oil of communication? Lavender helps with verbal expression. It calms the uncertain thoughts that are felt when a person exposes their true feelings. Lavender aids in releasing the tension pressure that comes from the fear of self expression. Lavender encourages emotional honesty by encouraging people to speak their most private thoughts, and desires.
The use of lavender has been recorded for more than 2,500 years. Egyptians, Phoenicians and the people of Arabia used lavender as a perfume, and also for mummification, by wrapping the dead in lavender-dipped shrouds. In ancient Greece, lavender was used as a cure for everything from insomnia, and aching backs to insanity.
By Roman times, lavender had already become a prized commodity. Lavender flowers were sold to ancient Romans for 100 denarii per pound, equivalent to a full month’s wage for a farm laborer, and were used to scent the water in Roman baths. In fact, the baths served as the root of the plant’s current name. “Lavender” is derived from the Latin lavare, meaning, “to wash.” Romans also used lavender as a perfume, insect repellent and flavoring.
The use of lavender was highly revered during the Great Plague of London in the 17th century, when individuals fastened bunches of lavender to each wrist to protect themselves from the Black Death. Thieves who made a living stealing from the graves, and the homes of Plague victims concocted a wash known as “Four Thieves Vinegar,” which contained lavender, to cleanse, and protect themselves after a night’s work. Today, we know the disease was transmitted by fleas, so the use of lavender, which is known to repel these insects, could very well have saved lives, and prevented further spread of the plague.
The Shakers, a strict sect of English Quakers, are credited with commercializing lavender and introducing a variety of lavender-based products to the United States and Canada. The Shakers raised their own herbs, produced medicines, and sold them to neighbors and customers outside their religious sect.
Lavender is frequently used to soothe skin irritations and help skin recover quickly. Applying Lavender to the back of the neck, and temples helps reduce muscle tension. Inhaling Lavender promotes relaxation and a restful night’s sleep, making it an ideal oil to diffuse at bedtime and when stress levels are high. Due to Lavender’s versatility and soothing properties, it is considered the must-have oil to have on hand at all times
I’m writing this for AccordingToKristinSite as she kindly asked me to share some of my perfume thoughts with her readers. There is so much more to perfumery than most people imagine. Therefore, I’ve decided to write a “cliffnotes” version of the things I’ve learned over the last 5 years of my perfume journey. I think […]