“A cozy one, a sexy one, one for the weather, and a wild card.” Inviting advice offered from friend and blogger Julie Johnson of The Redolent Mermaid to my quandary on a last trip.
I confess that mostly I’m a last minute packer. Sure, I have grand plans to pack two-three days before a trip and then re-pack the day before, removing half of the stuff, etc. But no, mostly, I just end up shoving everything into the suitcase last minute. Yoga mat? Check…
Careless as I might be in packing clothes, not so with perfume. Not always. But mostly. Laying the potential fragrances out ahead of time to sniff and dream gets me in the mood. And it’s an adventure to see if the way I predict fragrance interacting in an environment will play out in just that way.
For this jungle faerie hunt I selected a small vial of rare Hawaiian Jasmine in oil for my weather (tropical) scent. A gift from a friend who procured it at a farmer’s market in Kauai it seemed an obvious choice.
A small potent vial of verdant faerie’s Butterfly was my cozy scent. More of an aromatherapy scent than a perfume, Butterfly is bright with Geranium and Mint, and grounding with Clary Sage. It is perfect for jet-lag or the disorientation that sometimes accompanies travel. The bottle is now empty… Somehow it’s brightness was a soothing tonic. Helping me to feel stronger and ready for adventure.
My sexy scent was verdant faerie’s Eau De Parfum, Duskblossom, a rich scent with a seductive heart of Jasmine & Tuberose and a complex narcotic patchouli / tobacco base.
On the trip I ended up slathering Butterfly on my wrist to wake up and then layered my sexy pick DuskBlossom on top, day and night. During the day I would occasionally layer on the straight up jasmine. I found the Hawaiian Jasmine and Jasmine-heavy Duskblossom perfect for the jungle. It’s heady seductiveness lured me into lush jungle spirit. Blooming, thick, both ethereal and and of the earth.
The wild card was J. Hannah’s award-winning Skive. I especially love to take this one traveling because of it’s nifty eco-lux and travel ready packaging. The scent itself is always a surprise to me, although I’ve known it for several years. And its smokey, woodsy, musky, tea scent always brings out unique nuances in the environment I am exploring. I reached for Skive just once. At the Lamanai Lodge deep in the jungle. On a night when I got the itch to enjoy a scotch at the lodge bar. Stay up late listening to the songs of night critters as the Howler monkeys finished their last throaty bellows. The smooth smokiness matched the scotch and the sounds. I felt far away.
Once, as an experiment I put some drops of Butterfly into a pair of smelly sneakers. My brilliant idea did nothing to mask this funk. Then they just smelled like funk and Butterfly. C’est la vie. They are now sitting with good ol’ baking soda.
Interestingly, the lush intensity of the jungle softened all the fragrances, and I was really digging DuskBlossom with Butterfly as I wandered around under massive vine covered trees investigating endless variations of miniscule mosses.
In the off-the-beaten-track shop of Miss Garcia I hit gold in the form of Copal Resin. Miss Garcia opened the door of her pink shop to us on a Saturday night. Her smile and transcendent Saturday night copal smudging scent greeted us. Still soft and fresh, she unwrapped the copal and cut me off a 1/4 pound piece. I mentioned I wanted to tincture it for perfume, and she instructed that it should soak for 9 days, a sacred number as per the Mayans.
I left the shop floating on an incense cloud basking in the radiance of the kindly Miss Garcia.
I will tincture some in organic alcohol and oil. For 9 days, as recommended.
Incidentally, Copal is a resin from the Copal Protium Tree. It is used mostly as an incense but can add a lovely incense base note to perfumes. A bit like Frankincense only sweeter and more ethereal.
Mayan Faeries – The Alux
This dapper fellow and frequent travel companion is my dad. In addition to being an incredibly literate professor, he shares my curiosity in faeries. He always gets his question out in the most serious and professorial of manners, asking our local guides what they know of the Alux (pronounced ah-loosh) a Mayan sprite or faerie.
As children our Belizean guides were cautioned not to go into caves. In the caves the Alux lie in wait and will get you. And parents are advised to have more than 1 child as the Alux are less likely to talk a child into going off with him if a sibling is present.
“Does anyone ever come back from there after being caught?” asks yours truly.
Now, doesn’t that make you just a touch suspicious? Don’t you wonder what it’s like in the land of the Alux? Maybe it’s super nice and the children don’t WANT to come back… Hmmm.
Belize & Guatemala Part II coming very soon..
In the meantime for more scented beauty, check out Julie Johnson’s blog –
May the rains sweep gentle across your fields,
May the sun warm the land,
May every good seed you have planted bear fruit,
And late summer find you standing in fields of plenty.
Autumn and Mermaids
I love that this shadow holiday, Samhain or Halloween, is now celebrated so effusively. The day when the veil between us and the otherworld is thin and porous with faerie contact palpable.
We are moving from the autumn, the direction of west and water elementals. Our over arching consorts these past three months have been mermaids, water sprites, and selkies. Helping us to connect to our deepest self through our emotions, sensuality, and inner mysteries.
This fall found me blending up a mermaid perfume, which will appear in my etsy store when I’ve tweaked it some, aged it a bit, and then tested it under the glow of a full moon. Finding the perfect dreamy balance of raw sensuality and fresh salty air proved to be a challenge. Finally I found a delicious blend of oak moss, violet leaf, and sandalwood with neroli, roses, and a hint of jasmine. I’m still playing with it, trying to incorporate my handmade seaweed tincture, but I poured some solids in these sweet little shell lockets. I’ll list them in the shop soon.
I hope you are also enjoying the beauty of fall. Joyful, creepy skeletons and jack o’lanterns abound. Death flashing in brilliant color and the seductive scent of decaying plant matter wafting curious comfort; refreshing in the cooler air.
New Year and Earth Elementals
Happy New Year – Celtic style. November marks the start of a new year in the tradition of the old ways. We move into the time of the north and earth elementals; gnomes, elves, and dryads. The quiet, solid, nature of rocks, earth, trees will soon be our companions
It is time to conceive. To look deep inside, as with a night dream, and listen to the self in here. From November through January we can ponder, what are our intentions, what would we like to manifest? How can you bring balance to yourself and beauty to the world? How can you make the most of this crazy life you have been gifted?
I’ll be contemplating which direction to take my meditation, perfume, writing, and faerie magic…
Perfume – scent, oils, botanicals and perfumes are powerful, sacred tools as well as scentual delights. My perfume of choice at present is my own perfume creation Dryad. An all natural and botanical fougere type. Dryad is an Eau De Parfum and can be worn easily by man or woman.
Dryad’s scent notes:
Cedar & Fir; Lavender absolute graced with the spirit of fern, Violet Leaf & Cassie Flower; Oakmoss, Tonka Bean & Patchouli
There are so many magickal ways to set intention and manifest, from ritual sex magick (no partner required!) to visualization. As of late I’ve been exploring sigils, visualization, and faerieshaman stuff. And of course oils and perfumes. But these are topics for another time.
Ok, for now – one last share, a Celtic prayer/poem – “The Deer’s Cry.”
I arise today
Through the strength of heaven, light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendor of fire,
Speed of lightening
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of Sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.
Do you have magical ways of making your dreams come true? Missy and I would love to hear them!
“Just living is not enough," said the butterfly, "one must have sunshine,
freedom, and a little flower.” ~ Hans Christian Anderson
~Here and There and Back Again~
In Which We Explore My Being Butterfly & You Being Butterfly, Butterfly Medicine & Faerie Magic, A New Perfume, and Maryland
Are You My Butterfly Buddy?
Do you suffer from “Shiny Object Syndrome?” Do all the glittering things find you landing lightly, following multiple passions, exploring and traveling?
You may be butterfly in nature, like I. With magical super powers to perceive colors mere mortals do not and to smell with smell receptors (noses) all over your body. How can one be expected to limit oneself in the face of all this luxury?
Yes, butterflies are a beautiful thing. But sometimes us butterfly types get a bit of stigma as being, well, flighty.
(Like this particular blog post. It is going to flutter. Reader, beware!)
Of late I have been indulging in my butterfly tendencies, big time. In January 2016, I gave up my condo and jobs and have been living the gypsy life. An imperfect nomad’s life with the heart of a butterfly. Fluttering along with me is my dog, Missy, and my verdant faerie perfumery in search of nature, beauty, magic, and of course, faeries.
Since January I have been to Guatemala, Michigan, Mexico (twice), Canada, Oregon, Montana, New York, and back and forth from Chicago to Maryland a bunch of times. My theme for 2016 is action. Could you have guessed?
It’s been wonderful, and I am at an all time happiness high. I could not have done it without the help of very kind and generous people. So I’m feeling extremely grateful too.
But sometimes I question my seemingly ill-advised life choices. If you are also a butterfly you may nodding your antennae in agreement.
So I went on some faerie meditation journeys to explore all of these yearnings for freedom and lightness and shimmery beauty, and it’s accompanying self shaming.
In these journeys I organically connected to, and then made peace with, my butterflyness. All synchronistically confirmed to me in the mortal realm with butterfly references in movies and podcasts I stumbled upon, faerie card readings, friends observations, and of course actual butterflies visitations.
You know how that happens. You think of or experience something of deep significance, and then it’s everywhere. Synchronistic.
And the healing I have found is that it is ok to be a butterfly. It is ok to be me. In fact it’s wonderful.
So, dear Reader, are you also a bit of butterfly, filled with yearnings for sunshine, freedom, and a little flower? And do you have a bit of angst about it as I did? It is not generally encouraged in human society. Have you noticed? We are expected to stay put and focus. Of course there is nothing wrong with focus and productivity, but these expectations have sometimes made me feel bad about myself. Just a touch.
Let’s be proud of our inner butterfly and flaunt it in the shining sun!
Recently while in Kauai, I discovered a beautiful flower meditation to manifest radical self love. Give it a try!
If you are not a butterfly type – why not give butterfly style a go? Allow your senses to expand and experience more – grow some powerful yet delicate wings to flitterfly a little. What new hobbies can you explore? Where would you really love to visit? DO IT!
Some Butterfly Dope
verdant faerie loves beauty, perfume, and travel. Hence, the superpowers of the butterfly are swoon worthy.
The lucky creatures smell more than us. That is, they are more sensitive to scent perception. Butterflies have scent receptors studded along the antennae, legs, feet, and other parts of the body.
Butterflies see colors we don’t. With 5 or 6 color receptors to a humans 3, a butterfly’s eyes see more than twice the colors of humans. Butterflies perceive more color than any other creature (except maybe faeries). Dogs have the least. Sorry, Missy.
Those flutterby creatures have a surprising reserve of strength and stamina. Some butterflies even migrate. The Monarch butterfly can migrate up to 2500 miles and the top butterfly speed is 12 miles per hour.
The exquisite butterfly brings transformation and magic. A universal symbol of joy – their dancing beauty inspires.
When the butterfly visits you, or you are feelin’ your inner butterfly flutter, you are ready for personal growth and emergence. Ready yourself to experience any one of its life phases, caterpillar, pupae, butterfly. You may find yourself ravenously hungry, reading and studying voraciously like a caterpillar, or in need of a lengthy inner journey, pupae style. Or you may soon gloriously emerge to explore the world with your ultra-keen, superpower senses.
Often times the visit of a butterfly coincides with a remembrance of a deceased loved one, a particularly beautiful and light being who graced your life with sweetness.
(Psst- faeries often choose to disguise themselves as butterflies…)
In Faerie Faith, faeries of the air are creatures of the city of the east, Gorias. One of the four cities of the Tuatha de Danaan, from the tribe of the Goddess Danu. The east brings the sunrise and new beginnings and hope. Look to the faeries of the air and butterfly allies to aid you in your intentions especially when embarking on a new project, or if a situation might benefit with a dazzling butterfly touch.
If you would like to experience a more through Faerie tradition for yourself, I can recommend the teachings of Celtic Shaman, Danu Forest. At present, I am enjoying the Faerie Teachings course. It’s a wonderful addition to my spiritual practice and interaction with the world of Faerie. Her website is wondrous to browse.
Aromatherapeutic Perfume – Because Jet-Lag Happens
After returning from my last trip back from Hawaii I had really really bad terrible rotten jet-lag. Day one I lollygagged about on a lounge chair, limp and deflated. But on day two when I still felt my butterfly wings wilting on the chaise, I mixed myself an aromatherapeutic blend. And know what? It worked! I was back to my usual self.
I’ve found it’s also fantastic for staying alert while driving on long road trips.
And I’d like to share it with you!
Butterfly is composed of highest quality all natural essential oils. No harsh synthetic aroma-chemicals whatsoever. Not a one. It is a unisex body scent.
The Scent -
Refreshing Pink Grapefruit, Mint, and Rosemary to uplift
Lavender, Geranium, and Clary Sage to balance and calm
Patchouli for grounding.
Butterfly is in a roll-on applicator bottle, in an oil base of organic fractionated coconut oil. It is light and sheer and easy for transport.
Butterfly is made special order for you. If you want a particular scent tweak on it, let me know!
And, as it is primarily a therapeutic composition, it is not composed to last a long time on your skin. It’s function is to provide a quick mood and energy shift and then free you up. Like a butterfly landing lightly, touching with magical grace, then fluttering off.
You may order Butterfly from my verdant faerie Etsy shop. Cost is $25 per 8 ML bottle.
In closing I would like to share some photos of beautiful verdant Maryland fairieland where I encountered exquisite faerie creatures and people, was housed like a queen butterfly by kindly friends, house sat, made perfumes, taught aerial yoga, trained a wee bit on silks, learned a wee bit about gardening, visited watery and enchanting places, and went on dreamy shamanic faerie quests.
Missy and I have driven back and forth again from Chicago to Maryland 4 times in 2016! It is a special place in my heart for it’s verdant natural beauty and quirky magical faerie culture. I am forever grateful for the charming healing heart of Maryland.
Here’s some pics from the annual Faerie House Exhibit at the AnneMarie Sculpture Garden (a wonderful place with sculpture and interactive exhibits) where I neglected to take a picture of my kind hostess and new faerie friend, Holly and I together. But here is the house Holly made for the exhibit. The Emerald City made of recycled materials!
If you like aerial yoga or are looking for a place to train on silks – Try Ridgely Retreat for yoga in Annapolis and Urban Evolution for silks in Baltimore. Really nice folks…
Well, after wandering and roaming these past 9 months, I feel a bit ready to dig in deep with my perfume and writing and connect with loved ones and loved activities. I’ll be hanging out in Chicago, and nearby Michigan. That is unless I happen to need to off somewhere. You never know what’ll happen with a butterfly, or a Missy, behind the wheel…
I’m truly embarrassed and shocked at my negligent behavior. I forgot to share my first ever perfume review here.
Clearly, my marketing skills need improvement.
Julie Johnson is a blogger at The Redolent Mermaid and Social Media delight whom I follow on Instagram. In fact, that’s where we met and became friends! Huzzah for FB and IG. I have met some really wonderful people!
When I launched my first little line of perfumes I was excited to share them with Julie, and she kindly offered to write a review.
Please let me explain. In my world under the waves, it is no ones place to forgive or judge. Merfolk simply feel and be. But now there is a bit of the human in me, through my lover, and from this human place inside of me, I offer this confession.
So, you see, under the waves there is always music. A continuous, wordless, soundpoem – not merely heard, no. The song of the seas resonates in your body. You feel the song reverberate ceaselessly in the halls and chambers of our iridescent palaces. It is a world of feeling, of emotion, and sensation. And there, in this song, you ‘know’ all manner of beings. Yes, there are fishes, octopi, and other water creatures. But also befriended are pearlescent orbs floating gently amongst quick whipping goldersnaps. We are all part of this song.
As a young undine I first visited the world of sun and air, and there, above the waves, for the first time, I smelled. Rank and fetid with salty seaweed and fresh breeze mingled with the subtle, sweet, aroma of blossoms. Momentarily, my throat choked and body racked in spasms for the intensity. In less than a moment I was seduced and overcome with its inherent pleasure. I wanted to devour the smells. Ever after, under the waves, I knew lust.
Forgive me for I did not mean to lure my human lover under the waves with me. It was this song emanating from my beingness, this ever-present melody of the depths. My lips, so, you see, they sing mellifluent without my knowledge or intention. I only wanted to visit the world of sun and air for the briefest of time. For a sniff. Or two. And so it was that he heard my song and could not resist. He became mine to know.
Forgive me for I also did not mean to love him so. It was the scent of the sea in his curly locks and his skin smelling sweetly of Jasmine and mint that drew me. The faint earthy, musky aromas lingering in places on his body (I blush to mention) from his time on solid land, when not a sailor, that bound me to him. I became insatiable.
Now as one, under the waves he basks in my song and I in his scent. For when I wrap him in my tail and pull at his hair, and we undulate in the waves, I can once again devour his scent and he my song.
I know, so many questions! How does he breathe down there? How long have we been under the waves in our union? And just how do undines make love, hmmmm?
Ah, but I have made my confessions and thus feel absolved. These are revelations for another time.
Dear Reader, can you imagine smelling for the very first time? Wouldn’t you fall in love too?
Can you feel it? The pulsation of energy and expansion. Summer is a time of unfurling and ripening, an outward – yang season. A genial time for delighting in the company of others and for self-expression.
To connect with this genial and expansive energy, find some time to honor your connection with the sun and the start of summer. Be quietly with yourself and wildly with others. Or wildly with yourself and quietly with others!
Summer Solstice has become quite the holiday, as in days of yore, so most of us are aware it is the official kick-off of summer. It’s also a day when the veil between the faerie and mortal world is thin and contact can be made. Hence for me, reading the faerie cards is a must…
I also like to leave gifts for the fae; nuts, cheese, honey, whiskey… They flutter about and absorb the essences.
Meditation and Faerie journeys are wonderful to get into the faerie summer spirit.
Here’s a faerie journey/meditation…
To start, you may like to use scent and aromas. Jasmine is a beautiful transportive scent. I’ll be using my DuskBlossom Perfume.
And I’ve been playing with essential oil of Mugwort lately. Honestly, it does not smell so yummy, but is reportedly great for accessing the faerie and astral worlds. You may use these by applying to wrists and hands or temples. If you are pregnant you should avoid Mugwort.
(MUGWORT SHOULD NOT BE USED BY PREGNANT WOMEN!)
Next, take a moment to center yourself and breathe deeply. Close your eyes. Feel yourself connected to the earth and simply feel your body from within. Try not to judge, just let yourself be and observe.
In your mind’s eye, picture yourself in a sunny meadow filled with flowers. The sun is high in the sky. As you are enjoying the warmth of the sun you see at the edge of the meadow a white deer, stag, or unicorn.
Slowly approach it and see if it is friendly towards you. Perhaps it will let you gently stroke it’s neck. Perhaps it will let you climb up on it’s back.
If it does not seem like a good choice to climb up. Just enjoy your visit, thank the creature, and go back to your meadow and sit and feel the effects of the visit.
If you are able to do be on the back of the creature. Let it take you for a ride. Observe what you see and feel.
When the ride is complete, go back to your flowery meadow.
Contemplate what was revealed to you.
Here’s where we use the sun. Allow the bright brilliant light of the sun to illuminate anything you felt, saw, or thought. You do not even need to understand intellectually. Just let it be filled with sunlight.
Enjoy this sensation.
When you feel complete, stretch and yawn, allow yourself to awaken,refreshed and energized by the sun.
Finally, pet your dog, even though she has barked throughout your meditation and stepped all over your faerie card spread.
A word-scent linked portrait of my mother. The inspiration for my perfume, Anam Cara.
Long ago ~ Anam Cara Base Notes
Warm grounding Sandalwood and Vanilla…
Staring into the grass.
Raggedy Anne doll by my side.
My mother, the artist, is near,
Under the oaks, drawing.
She has stayed home to be with me.
I feign sick just to be with her.
Potent scent of Fossilized Amber…
A portrait of me,
I have the striped legs of Raggedy Anne.
I marvel in awe
"How does she do that?"
Patchouli, the earthy unconventional…
She lets me run wild through forests and climb pyramids.
Viewing the world through her eyes,
Eyes filled with curiosity and humor.
Not too too long ago ~ Anam Cara Heart Notes
Sweetness of Bulgarian Rose…
I do really, really, stupid things.
Haunt questionable neighborhoods,
Make bad choices.
They are barely mentioned.
Spicy Clove and luscious Orange Blossom…
A heady period
Of shared African dance classes,
Performance art collaborations.
She plays Shaman.
Her 'Lowly Potato' soliloquy steals the show.
Rich comforting Coffee aroma…
Now I am the mother and teacher.
Frequent, lengthy, excruciating stretches of distressing chaos.
“First there must be chaos, then art.”
We laugh over commiserative cups.
And 'chaos first' becomes my mantra.
Pretty much now ~ Anam Cara Top Totes
Sparkle and Shimmery scent of Petitgrain, Bergamot, and Haute Lavender…
It is summer and we sit under the Oaks.
On a swing seat drinking wine in the middle of the afternoon
“Isn’t it close enough to 3:00?”
When her stories get lively
I pull my legs up under me,
And let her push.
And she pushes us with gusto.
Legs matching the exuberance of words.
Her spirit shimmery
Our friendship sparkles.