Beyond The Veil – scent musings and longings

Sometimes a scent (always natural) like forest, or meadow flowers, will remind me of a time when I smelled those scents (scent memory) and dreamed a longing dream to be transported by the scent, which I know in my deepest knowing is an indication of Genius Loci, to a magickal realm. The familiarity of the scent reawakens and intensifies my longing. My heart starts beating faster. I’ve got rainbow toes dipping into that other realm. I can absolutely feel the veil thinning. I’m slipping in. Like a dream within a dream, or a scent within a scent, or a longing within a longing…

Does scent transport you?

As in… time travel… lucid dreams… astral journeys…. space travel…

The other night I thought I would lucid dream myself to Prague. (Since overseas travel is on pause.) Whilst there I’d also time travel to a long ago time in that Golden City. Let’s say Medieval period or before. And in this long ago time in the most magical of all cities I’d find a portal to an ancient Pagan Magickal Faerie Land where humans and faeries still mingle. The veil would fall away. There I’d marvel, dance, (not eat anything – NEVER eat anything in Faerieland), feel joy, sprout wings and who knows what else.

So I doused myself in my psychic travel perfume, Liminal, and gave it a go. Liminal is a Perfume in Oil I composed to wear at bedtime for dreaming, piercing the veil, or when I want to connect with Faerie. It is an ethereal yet earthy blend featuring Mugwort known for it’s link to faerie.

Photographer Unknown

For starters, I popped into the little medieval inn I visited more than a decade ago with my son and parents. It’s tucked to the right of the bridge in the picture above. You can just make out the roof tiles. Looking out the attic window we saw the statues looming on the bridge. An extraordinary and magical inn. The memory was so very bittersweet – we were all youngish and vital, my father was passionately researching our Czech heritage, my son just a playful lad, and my mom all laughter and care – that I wound up in tears (but they were sweet tears). And was back in my body lickety split with some wicked insomnia.

I’ll have to experiment with Prague again. Maybe I’ll wind up here where the breezes smell of creamy iris (orris) and pink roses.

Claude Monet

Olfaction is so often linked with memory. Scent memory can evoke recollections of a person, place, or time. Smell jasmine and think of your first lover, etc. An utterly endearing quality of our olfactory sense.

Yet, as a perfumer my inspiration for composing a fragrance is frequently a fantastical place I long to visit. Places not experienced on this side of the veil. Places of the imaginal. Some of these places are captured and now shared in a collective psyche in story form, for example, Tolkein’s Rivendell, and from Neil Gaiman’s, Stardust and the Faerie market outside the Village of Wall. What would these places smell like? Can we go there and experience, please? It’s as though if the scent exists, the place exists, and we can indeed visit.

The Faerie Market from Stardust, by Charles Vess
Rivendell from The Lord Of The Rings, By J. R. R. Tolkein

In The Brimstone Deceit, author Joshua Cutchin, explores the many accounts of supernatural scents and otherworldly odors. Stories of scents lingering in the air after Faerie or Sasquatch encounters, Blessed Virgin Mary and saint visions, and alien abductions. So, scent and “creatures.”

Then how about scent and Genius Loci? Genius Loci, is a deity or spirit of a place. It makes perfect scents (sorry, couldn’t resist) that the spirit of a place would have their “signature scent” just like Sasquatch (surfer, urine, skunk) or the Blessed Virgin Mary (roses, violets), right?

Daybreak by Maxfield Parish

(How would THIS ethereal place smell???)

And here’s where it gets complex and super fascinating for a scent geek and psychic travel enthusiast like me.

Sometimes a scent (always natural) like forest, or meadow flowers, will remind me of a time when I smelled those scents (scent memory) and dreamed a longing dream to be transported by the scent, which I know in my deepest knowing is an indication of Genius Loci, to a magickal realm. The familiarity of the scent reawakens and intensifies my longing. My heart starts beating faster. I’ve got rainbow toes dipping into that other realm. I can absolutely feel the veil thinning. I’m slipping in. Like a dream within a dream, or a scent within a scent, or a longing within a longing…

That’s when I hit the Imaginarium, sit down at the perfumer’s bench, and start blending.

Stay tuned for the ‘any second now’ launch of my Perfume in Oil line with transportive perfume compositions – Stardust, Sweet Rivendell, Liminal, and more. Some of the fragrances are from my shop with fresh new labels and bottles. Others have appeared only at live events in the past. And a few new ones are debuting! The fragrances are all natural and created with love and harbor the mysterious ability to evoke positive feelings and journeys into harmonic states of being.

Sweetie The Unicorn With The Yellow Faerie from The Maryland Faerie Festival, Photo by David Fimbres

From the Performance Piece, Slavas Snow Show
Daughters of the Night, by Lajos Gulacsy
From Le Moulin Jaune in France, Unknown Photographer

Thank you, Dear Reader for visiting!

I welcome your thoughts 🙂

Mothers Day Love!

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?”

Happy Mothers Day

A word-scent linked portrait of my mother. The inspiration for my perfume, Anam Cara.

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Anam Cara Eau de Parfum

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.
Loved.
Potent scent of Fossilized Amber…
Her drawing,
A portrait of me,
I have the striped legs of Raggedy Anne.
She creates, 
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.

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Her mermaid mural on the washroom wall of my childhood home.

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.

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Delivering her Soliloquy at “The Cocktail Party”  A performance piece happening created by Somebody’s Daughters.  I am the blonde with the feather duster in my face.

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?”
We reminisce.
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.

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My Anam Cara in Mexico, 2016

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Us, Winter 2015

Anam Cara is available in my Etsy Shop.

Happy Mothers Day!